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The Go Guide Weekend Preview: Food and whine, wenches and Styx

There will be a lot of talk this weekend about the sensual relationship we have with food. But will the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival let you hit a friend in the kisser with a tomato or dip a crispy stick of bacon in a pool of chocolate?

No, to do that, you must look elsewhere.

The riotously energizing Flying Tomato Smash and Bash Festival returns to Miami’s venerable Tobacco Road bar on Saturday for the biggest tomato fight this side of Bunol, Spain’s famed La Tomatina.

At last year’s inaugural event (seen below), nearly 900 participants were cheered by hundreds more while pelting each other with 25,000 ripe tomatoes. This year’s battle is expected to have even more participants and tomatoes.

A buddy who attended the 2012 Smash and Bash offers a tip: Tell your lady friend to leave the white T-shirt at home. Or not.

Registration is $20 (spectators free) and begins at noon Saturday, with live bands, food and drink specials running until sundown. Tobacco Road is at 626 S. Miami Ave. Info: 305-374-1198,

No offense, but is it any surprise that we scarfed up all the tickets to Saturday’s BaconFest at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek? Sold out? Really? Sure, there’s Todd Fisher, gregarious host of the Discovery Channel’s “The United States of Bacon,” and film star Kevin Bacon and his band (seen his new TV show, “The Following,” on Fox? Scary stuff), but if we’re being honest with ourselves, it’s gotta be the lowercase “b” bacon.

Here are a few experiences to look forward to at BaconFest on Saturday, if you are lucky enough to have tickets. If not, track down these locals for something to enjoy in the privacy of your own home ... First, check out the peanut butter, chocolate and bacon mousse from La Marquise Desserts in Coral Springs,  the bacon cake pops from Susy Pops in Boca Raton and the mini bacon maple cupcakes from Jodi’s Cupcakes and More, also in Boca. The Melting Pot will offer bacon-and-chocolate fondue, chased by a bacon milkshake. (Are they still serving the chocolate-bacon shake at UM baseball games at Mark Light Stadium?) And Big City Tavern will overwhelm with bacon-wrapped porchetta with bacon-crusted cider doughnuts with maple glaze. BaconFest runs from 6 to 11 p.m. Info: 954-977-6700,

If Dad seems particularly perky when the subject of the Florida Renaissance Festival comes up, it’s probably due to his vow to spend more quality time with the kids. Or it's the annual Wenches Weekend, which the fair calendar tags with an even-more-precise subtitle: “Bodacious Bodices.” The festival is in Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach through March 17. Hours: 10 a.m. to sunset each weekend. Tickets: $20, $7 ages 6-11, 5 and younger free. Season passes cost $65. Info:, 800-373-6337.

The Seminole Coconut Creek Casino folks understand your need to at least be close to bacon, and will offer a limited number of $15 “entertainment only” tickets to BaconFest at 8 a.m. Friday via and 10 a.m. Saturday at the casino box office. While the ticket doesn’t get you the bacon sampling, there will be food and drinks for sale. Alas, no bacon. But as for the entertainment, be aware that before Kevin Bacon's band, at 7 p.m. it's the Dan Band. You may remember comic Dan Finnerty’s ridiculously profane rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in the wedding scene from dude classic “Old School,” and similar appearances in “The Hangover” and “Starsky and Hutch.” And can you really put a price on the Dan Band’s version of the Styx ballad “Lady”? Here's a relatively tasteful taste:

Delray Marketplace (14775 Lyons Road) is just twitching to life on the farmland of western Delray Beach, but the 70,000-square-foot Frank Theatres CineBowl and Grille, looks like an effective anchor. On a test-drive last weekend I paid about $35 for two adults and two kids (seats were exceedingly comfortable), after dropping $65 in the Red Brick Grille (that second round of drinks gets you every time). One nice surprise was the presence of Cat 3 IPA from Due South Brewing down the road in Boynton Beach. Plus, the plastic cup with which I could carry the beer into the theater. It didn’t make it that far. More info: 561-776-4747,

The All-American Rejects, who have put out three platinum-selling albums since their 2003 self-titled debut, are the headlinersfor  97.9 WRMF’s Fe-BREW-ary Fest at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Mizner Park Amphitheater (590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton). Vicci Martinez from “The Voice” and Coco Beach pop quartet Junior Doctor will also be on the beer fest bill. Tickets: $20. Info:, 561-868-1050.

Do not underestimate the noshing to be done at the Indie Craft Bazaar, the youthfully exuberant pop-up rummage sale that returns to Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The afternoon will show off new art from local creators and crafters, lovingly repurposed home goods and apparel, vegan treats, music, drinks and more. Admission: $5. Free parking and $3 mimosas seal the deal. For a sneak peek at some of the items you’ll find on Sunday, go to

Eddie Money’s  current Geico ad, in which he’s the rubber-faced proprietor of a travel agency trying to sell a family of four “two tickets to paradise!” is certainly hilarious, but lost in the laughs is the fact that he can still carry that tune. Money will be joined by Debbie Gibson as the headliners for The 80s Fest on Saturday from 3 to 10 p.m. at Sunset Cove Amphitheater (12551 Glades Road, Boca Raton). Gioia Bruno from Expose and singer Stacey Q are also on the lineup for the evening, which includes ‘80s vendors, classic cars such as the General Lee from “The Dukes of Hazzard” and a costume contest with $1,000 in cash and prizes at stake. Tickets: $38 (general admission). Info:, 561-488-8069.

Opening with a reception 7-11 p.m. Saturday, “Sweet and Sour, My Bloody Valentine” is the name of a group show of more than 30 South Florida artists that seeks to explore “the sweet and sour side of love” at Ink and Pistons gallery (2716 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach). Because our Valentine’s candy is long gone, we take special note that sustenance will be provided by Delray baker extraordinaire Shoshanah Abraham, a k a Sugar Mama Sweet. Info:

Former Miami poet Richard Blanco created special symbolism with his mere presence on the podium at President Obama’s inauguration last month. Blanco, Cuban-American and gay, will read the poem he delivered to the nation that day, the rejuvenating and Whitman-esque “One Today,” along with other works, at a reading on Friday in the Knight Concert Hall at Miami’s Arsht Center. The 7:30 p.m. event, sponsored by Books and Books, is free, but first-come, first-served reservations are required. You can reserve your seat here or by calling 305-949-6722. Info:

Cinema Paradiso will pass the hat to support its new Hollywood location with a fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at FACE (2022 Hollywood Blvd.). Free hors d'oeuvres and a free drink are part of the elbow-rubbing that will evolve into a 7 p.m. stroll to the new space at 2008 Hollywood Blvd. A tour and presentation follow, with plenty of movie talk sure to ensue. Tickets: $20. Info:, 954-924-2980.

Get daily updates on South Florida entertainment and things to do at and on Twitter at @BenCrandell.

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