Taste of success

Published 11:44 pm Friday, September 20, 2013

Abraham Klassen and Margaret Klassen prepare bags of kettle corn at Thursday’s “Taste of the South” event.

Abraham Klassen and Margaret Klassen prepare bags of kettle corn at Thursday’s “Taste of the South” event.

Hundreds of food lovers of all ages enjoyed the selection of tasty treats at the 10th annual “Taste of the South,” which was held Thursday evening at Heritage Park.

Event coordinator Sharon Smith said she thought the event was one of the biggest yet.

“It was wonderful to see the large turnout,” Smith said. “This event was designed to be a great way for people to come out and have a good time enjoying tasty food. We wanted it to be a family-friendly event, and I was happy to see a lot of kids out and enjoying themselves as well.”

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Smith said that there were a few new features to make the event even more family-friendly this year, such as a station where kids could paint and draw with chalk. In addition, there were snow cones and other “kid friendly” snacks available at various tents.

Smith said that there are a number of groups who made the event a large success. She thanked Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. for helping to advertise the event, Earl Bryant and Tri-Co Electric for supplying power and Abby Akins and the Greater Escambia Council for the Arts for offering musical entertainment.

“I also really thank the mayor and the city of Atmore for helping us get the park ready for the event,” Smith said. “They do a wonderful job each year.”
Yolanda Webster, a member of the Women of Distinction (WOD) organization, said that WOD has been taking part in the event for the last four years.

“We enjoy coming out and being a part of this wonderful event,” she said. “It’s great to see the community come together.”

Webster said that WOD has baked desserts in past years, but last year they offered turnip greens for the first time. She said the food was so popular that WOD decided to offer it again this year, serving up a plate of chicken and dressing, greens and cornbread.

“I guess you could say that it’s back ‘by popular demand,’” Webster said, with a laugh.

While some of the vendors were professional eateries and cooks, others were just people who enjoy cooking and making tasty treats. One such participant was Kim Himes, who was offering samples of her red velvet cake at the “Red Velvet Heaven” tent.

“Some friends tried my cake and thought it was really good, so they said I should be in Taste of the South,” said Himes, who was a first-time participant. “I think it’s an awesome event for our community, and I’m happy I joined it.”

Visitors to the event could purchase a $10 ticket, which allowed them to sample dishes from five tents. Food items available included a wide range of entrees, snacks and desserts, as well as drinks.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, which coordinates the Leadership Atmore program. Smith was president of the 2004 Leadership Atmore class, which chose “Taste of the South” as its community service project for that year. The event has continued for 10 years since, with Smith serving as the coordinator each year.

Vendors who participated in this year’s event included the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, the Concerned Citizens of Atmore, Atmore News, Lambert’s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor, Atmore/PCI Animal Shelter, Stephanie Boothe, Kim Himes, Women of Distinction, Acapulco, VFW Post 7016 Ladies Auxiliary, Jalisco, Abe Klassen, First National Bank and Trust, United Bank, David’s Catfish House, South Alabama Vending/Patsy Fincher Treats and St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church.