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Tasting Farragut


Hundreds of Farragut fans packed the midway of the inaugural Taste of Farragut gala held Friday, Sept. 11, on the parking lot of the old Kroger store off Kingston Pike in the heart of Farragut.- Heather Mays/farragutpress
The inaugural Taste of Farragut was qualified a “success” by many of those who attended and planned the event, held Sept. 11 in the old Kroger parking lot.

More than 450 people attended the event and raised more than $7,400, of which about $4,800 will go to Knoxville ChildHelp, a child advocacy charity.

“I thought it was a great success. I mean, coming out of the gate for the first time, this was pretty well done,” Mayor Ralph McGill, in attendance at the event, said.

“They did that all in two months, and looking at the numbers of people who were there and the numbers of vendors, everybody seemed to be having fun,” he added.

“Everybody enjoyed it; it was a lot of fun. … Everybody seemed to have a lot of fun because they got to try all the good food and the good wine,” David Purvis, president of ChildHelp, said.

“They learned more about wine and what food, what restaurants are available in Farragut,” he added.

“It was great to see so many folks from our community show up and support ChildHelp and the Farragut businesses that participated,” said Tony Cox, general manager of Horne Radio LLC, 105.3 FM, a co-sponsor of the event.


“The event was well organized and well received. There is tremendous potential for a Taste of Farragut to grow,” he added.

Purvis said he plans to make the Taste of Farragut a yearly event.

“I’d like to see it a bit more often than once a year,” McGill said.

Twelve Farragut businesses participated in the event: Aubrey’s Café, Buddy’s BBQ, Estelita’s Authentic Mexican Cuisine, Kroger Marketplace, Oskie’s Sports Bar & Grill, Season’s Café, Shrimp Dock, Silo Cigars, Snappy Tomato Pizza, Tastefully Simple, VG’s Bakery and Wild Wing Café.

Several area beverage distributors provided wine and other drinks.

“All the businesses felt they got exposure from people who didn’t know they were in the community, I’m seeing a common theme there,” Purvis said of the perception of the event from the business community.

“The distributors said they got a lot of good reception from their product; all the restaurants said … [people] just didn’t know these places were in the community,” he added.

Margaret Johns provided feedback on the event at the Farragut Business Alliance meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 15.

She complimented the event’s traffic flow and organization.

“I want to comment on how well this was coordinated with access to all the vendors throughout the area,” Johns said.

“There were a lot of people that were there, but it didn’t feel crowded … you didn’t have to wait in a long line to get to the next tasting opportunity,” she added.

She also noticed the variety of people represented at the event: “you had families, you had singles, young professionals, a number of different types of people present.”

She recommended perhaps having future Taste of Farragut events themed in order to make the entire event more cohesive, and perhaps to include vendors with more varied wares, even including crafters.

“Furthering on that ‘taste of Farragut’ to ‘experiencing Farragut’ in all its aspects,” she said.

Of the $7,400 raised for charity, some of the funds had to go to paying for event-related expenses, including tent rentals, portable toilets, fire extinguishers, signs and various permits.

None of the Farragut vendors received any of the money, although the bluegrass band, Early Bird Special, and Daisy’s Clowns and Entertainers, each were paid.

“At this point, all of it went to ChildHelp,” Purvis said of the remaining funds, and added the money came at a good time for the charity.

“The medical center just had a piece of equipment break, so this money happened at the right time, because they needed this piece of equipment,” he added.

Taste of Farragut also was sponsored by farragutpress and the town of Farragut.

 

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