Shockoe Tomato Festival July 23

On Saturday, July 23, 2011, the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, located at 100 North 17th Street, Richmond, Virginia, will host the 10th Annual Tomato festival.

All things tomato at the 10th Annual Shockoe Tomato Festival July 23

Hours are between 11 AM and 4 PM and will feature live music and entertainment, kids stuff, and markets vendors with tomatoes of every shape, size, and color. You’ll find fried green tomatoes, BLT’s, tomato sandwiches, and, yes! even tomato fudge!  You’ll find the market at the corner of 17th Street and East Main; best of all, the event has no admission fees – but take along your wallet so that you can taste the best tomatoes any way you want them!

The site occupied by the 17th Street Farmers’ Market has been a public gathering place since at least 1737 and is considered one of America’s oldest public markets.  Historically it was ideally situated at the intersection of local commerce – close to the James River and along the main road connecting Richmond and Williamsburg. In fact, small boats used nearby Shockoe Creek to bring shellfish to customers at the market.  When the General Assembly officially moved to Richmond in 1779, a public market was established. By 1854 the market had expanded to a larger market building. It served as a gathering place for Confederate soldiers during the Civil war, later a barracks for Union soldiers. It has served as the site for political speeches, a police station, and religious revival meetings. In the mid 1900′s, supermarkets became the answer to a family’s grocery needs and family farmers left the farm for the promise of a regular paycheck at the factory. The impact on the market was significant: the market house was torn down and just a few vendor stalls dotted the market.

This 10th Annual Tomato Festival is but one of many festivals and events to draw Richmond’s residents and visitors alike back to the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, in addition to the regular farm produce available for sale during market hours on market days.

Richmond has a wealth of unique treasures to uncover, the best way to find them is to book a stay at Richmond’s premier bed and breakfast, which is located in the historic Fan District. There is much to see and do; so add Richmond to your list!

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