Food show satisfies hundreds of hungers

Published 11:47 pm Saturday, August 8, 2009

NATCHEZ — Hundreds of hungry bellies circled inside Natchez Convention Center, satisfying appetites one bite at a time.

Saturday was the first day of the 11th annual The Markets Food and Lifestyle Show, which featured product displays for fruit juice and snack cakes to anti-dust cleaning product and super fast bathroom remodeling.

The show is a chance for vendors to get information about their products out to the public and for the public to find new items to put on their grocery store.

Email newsletter signup

Over the years the event has become a must-attend for many local families. That’s the case for 22-year-old Jessica Skates.

“We come every year,” she said. “And wouldn’t miss it.”

Skates said she and her family usually spend a couple of hours making the rounds and sampling as many products as they can.

While Skates said they don’t pass up many booths some samples did stick out.

“The Tampico fruit juice, that was my favorite,” she said. “I’ve only been once so far, but I’ll be back for more.”

Since Skates began attending the food show, she said there has been remarkable growth, something which she is happy about.

“There are more places to get food and coupons now,” she said.

One table included samples of mini donuts and muffins, not too far away from a freezer case with mini ice cream cones and tiny ice cream bars.

And a couple of aisles over, Tony the Tiger greeted the younger food show attends while Miss Chiquita Banana touted the benefits of her products.

And if a rest was needed after gorging on the seemingly endless samples, an entertainment area was set up with chairs in a back corner of the convention floor. Local musicians entertained crowds, models showed off the latest fashions and pint-sized karate kids demonstrated their talents.

While Skates and her group, can usually make their stops at the booths in about 90 minutes, Brenda Harris of Natchez takes her time.

“We’ll be here until they shut it down,” she said.

Harris, who admittedly enjoys all the food samples being offered up, said she also uses the food show as a chance to explore her culinary creativity.

“What I really like to do is see all the products that I can cook with later,” she said. “I love to cook.”

Harris said she can’t remember a year that she hasn’t attended the food show.

“Its something, that after all these years, you start looking forwards too and asking ‘When is it this year,’” she said.

Accompanying Harris to this years food show was first-timer Melvin Horton.

Horton said Harris didn’t even try to describe the event to him before showing up at the convention center.

“She just said there was an exhibit we were going to,” the Lexington resident said.

That was because Harris couldn’t find the words to do the event justice, she said.

Horton said he was pleased with his expectations when he walked in the door, but he was pleased.

“I’m having a good time,” he said. “It enjoyable.”

The food and lifestyle show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the convention center. Tickets are $3 at the door.