Food show this weekend

Published 12:02 am Friday, August 5, 2011

NATCHEZ — Families should bring their appetites to the 12th annual Markets Food and Lifestyle Show this weekend, with the possibly of winning a year’s worth of free groceries.

The Vidalia Conference and Convention Center will host the show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Approximately 30 vendors will share samples and product information with thousands of guests to the show.

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Two tickets are free with the purchase of $25 in groceries from any of the local markets. Or, guests can pay $5 each at the door.

Last year was the first for the show to be in Vidalia and Supermarket Operations retail director Barry Loy said the location worked out very well.

“The consumers seemed to enjoy going over there for the first time,” Loy said.

“All booths will be set up — cooking, giving out food samples and tastings, coupons, recipes and gadgets to the kids.”

Loy said the show is also an opportunity for The Markets to get out samplings of new products and ideas.

“We’ll be rolling out new technology about how businesses can leverage themselves with (social media) like Facebook,” Loy said. “We have new website that we’ll be getting into the consumers hands.”

Jerry D’Eramo, show producer, said the show’s vendors and brokers are mostly the same as last year, and include Blue Bell, Blue Bunny and Kemp’s ice creams, Dairy Fresh and Borden’s dairy products, Manda Meats, Golden Flake, Riley’s Coffee, IBC, Sara Lee, Frito Lay and more.

D’Eramo said several non-food related vendors will display and share their wares, including magnetic jewelry, Air Evac, Natchez Monument, Redd Pest Control and American Medical Response.

Besides tasty treats and useful information about local services, guests can also expect to be entertained.

Sam Jones, operator of radio station KFNV/KWTG, said to bring the whole family because the weekend is fun for everyone.

“It’s easy and everyone is happy,” Jones said. “And there is some great entertainment.”

Jones will co-emcee with Hannah Belle Southerland.

Loy said the big reason people should attend the show is two fold — it’s 110 degrees outside, and there is plenty of ice cream in the air conditioning.

“It’s good, family entertainment,” Loy said.

“Different school and church groups will be performing, there are new products, things to eat and see, and I think the Cheerio’s Nascar car will be outside — all fun things.”

Saturday’s entertainment includes Hannah Belle Southerland performing gospel and country music followed by singer/songwriter Scotty Floyd, gospel rock group Apostles Creed, a Pampered Sole fashion show, Christian dramatic interpretation team Highland Highlighters and acoustic country group Little Richard.

Sunday’s acts include acoustic rock/country artist Ben Lewis, Heavenly Hands puppet show, the Highland Highlighters, Christian solo artist Miranda Rodriguez and Apostles Creed.

“Hannah Belle and I will be emceeing the show both days, giving out many door prizes, and especially, giving away the big prize — a year’s groceries from The Markets,” Smith said.