Tasty night in the south

Published 10:29 am Monday, September 26, 2011

Josh Godwin, left, and Elliot Faircloth man the booth for David’s Catfish House during “Taste of the South” Thursday at Heritage Park. David’s came away with the nigh’s top prize, Best Taste of the South.

Not even a full day of rainy weather could deter a hungry crowd from descending onto Heritage Park Thursday night for an evening of music, mingling and, of course, sampling some of the best food in Atmore during the eighth annual “Taste of the South.”

Established by the Leadership Atmore class of 2004, “Taste of the South” has become a staple in the Atmore community and an annual chance for local vendors to showcase some of their very best culinary treats.
Sharon Smith, president of the 2004 Leadership Atmore class, said this year’s event was one of the best in recent memory.

“We had a good turnout considering the weather,” Smith said. “We had a constant flow of people. We think we had over 400.”
Smith attributed some of this year’s success to Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Director Sheryl Vickery’s idea to move this year’s event from Saturday to Thursday.

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“I think having it on a Thursday did a lot,” Smith said. “People can come after work on Thursday and not worry about cooking dinner and it not disrupt their weekend plans.”

The change was so successful, in fact, Smith said she is considering permanently moving ‘Taste’ to the third Thursday in September.

There were also plenty of vendors for the big crowd to enjoy Thursday night. Thirteen booths lined the sidewalks of the park offering everything from frozen coffee to seafood to barbeque.

Vendors included Annie’s Frozen Coffee, Houseboat BBQ, Comeback Café, David’s Catfish House, First National Bank and Trust, Atmore News, United Bank, Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, Concerned Citizens of Atmore, Sabor A Mexico, Pepsi Cola, Alabama Wing House and St. Robert Bellarmine.

Two vendors in particular had big nights at this year’s event. United Bank took home both the Best Desert award for their “dirt pies” and the Best Decorated Booth for their garden themed station.

The big award of the night, Best Taste of the South, went to David’s Catfish House this year, but Smith said several other vendors were nipping at their heels.

“It was a close call for best taste this year,” she said.

By night’s end “Taste of the South” 2011 had sold over 400 tickets at $10 a piece, with all proceeds going to benefit the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce.

Smith said she would like to extend a special thanks to Mayor Howard Shell and the City of Atmore, Tri-Co Electric, Baldwin Gulf Coast Pest Control, Pepsi Cola, the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Atmore classes of 2004 and 2011 for helping to make this year’s “Taste of the South” a success.