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Fill your days with folk art and fine dining

By Lauren Morgan

Staff Writer

lauren.morgan@gwinnettdailypost.com

Folk Fest offers self-taught art

Folk Fest 2007 kicks off today in Norcross. This weekend-long event showcases some of the greatest self-taught artists in the country.

Over the past 14 years, the annual Folk Fest has helped make Atlanta the undisputed "Hub of Folk Art." More than 100 galleries and dealers from across the country - specializing in self-taught art, outsider art, Southern folk pottery, antique folk art and anonymous works - will fill the 85,000-square-foot North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court in Norcross.

Items will be available for every budget, whether customers are looking for a starter piece for $5 or a museum-quality masterpiece for $50,000. A silent auction will also be held.

Admission to the show opening, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. today, is $15, which includes a 14th anniversary T-shirt and readmission for the entire weekend. The festival will also run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7.

For more information, call 770-532-1115 or 404-403-4244, e-mail folkfest@slotinfolkart.com or visit www.slotinfolkart.com.

Bonefish Grill to host fundraiser

Bonefish Grill opens its location at The Avenue Webb Gin in Snellville on Monday. The upscale seafood restaurant will offer dinner beginning at 4 p.m. nightly.

A pre-opening fundraiser will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday to benefit the Gwinnett Children's Shelter. The event will include complimentary drinks, appetizers, a main course tasting and a silent auction. The cost is $25, and all proceeds will go to the shelter. For reservations, call Susie Ryan at 678-546-8770 or e-mail sryan@gwinnettchildrenshleter.org.

The restaurant is located at 1350 Scenic Highway in Snellville. Call 678-344-8945 or visit www.bonefishgrill.com.

Grapes and Hops offers dinners, tastings

Grapes and Hops Bar and Bistro will host an Italian Wine Dinner at 5 p.m. on Sunday. The cost is $45 per person. This four-course dinner will be paired with four Italian wines from all over Italy.

Special guest and wine guru Marie Ballard from Palm Bay Imports will provide the wine, along with wine-making techniques, notes and taste profiles. Chef Timmy Lee will prepare the meal.

"I pretty much give him carte blanch to do whatever he wants in the kitchen," said Michelle Schreck, Grapes and Hops proprietor. "He's a third-generation chef, his father owns 10 to 15 restaurants in Atlanta, but he wants to make it on his own."

Can't make it for dinner on Sunday? Come to the restaurant's rum tasting from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday. Taste and learn about the difference between dark rums, light rums and aged rums, as well as molasses rums versus sugar cane rums. Appetizers will be offered. The cost is $15 per person.

For more information on the happenings at Grapes and Hops, call 770-965-9145 or e-mail michelle@grapesandhopsbarandbistro.com.