Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The fairest of the Fairs? Food or Emergency?

I L-O-V-E going to health fairs, women's events -- you name it!

We are fortunate to have two this weekend in Knoxville--and they could not be more different.

Per the posting, "The Food City Food Show will be held Sept. 23-24 at the Knoxville Convention Center, 701 Henley Street. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Advance tickets available at Food City stores for $8 with ValuCard. They will be $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are free. Chef Hector Santiago, contestant of Bravo Network's Top Chef, season 6, will be featured entertainment on Saturday and Chefs Paul and Patrick Albrecht, co-owners of Atlanta's Great Food Group Inc., will be featured performers on Sunday. A variety of local culinary demonstrators will also be on hand, including Knoxville News Sentinel food writer Mary Constantine.

Here is the cooking school schedule:

Friday, September 23

10:30-11:15 Mary Constantine, News Sentinel food writer and host of "Stirring the Pot" on

12:00-12:45 Missy Kane "Fit and Fun with Missy Kane" Covenant Health's health promotion coordinator

1:30-2:15 Hector Santiago, Atlanta restaurateur/chef -competed in the sixth season of "Top Chefs" on the Bravo Network

3:00-3:45 Katie Cureton, Culinary College Trainer for the J.M. Smucker Co.

Saturday, September 24

10:30-11:15 Jimmie Jones, Food City Culinary Trainer- Cake Decorating 101

12:00-12:45 Mark McKinney -senior executive chef of the UT Healthy Living Kitchen WITH Lori Hamilton director of Healthy Initiatives for Food City

1:30-2:15 Chef Walter of WVLT TV

3:00-3:45 Chefs Paul and Patrick Albrecht, co-owners of Atlanta's Great Food Inc. Their Restaurants include Pauls, Social Vinings and Vinings Fish Company of Atlanta, GA."

I have been to this event many times. You'll learn a lot and you'll take away a lot of goodies. I am still using some terrific cleaner from Kelsan that I got there. The good folks at Food City give the proceeds to United Way of Greater Knoxville, for which I am very grateful as (here is the disclosure) I work for United Way of Greater Knoxville. We're working hard to support self-sustainability for our fellow Knox Countians. Thank you, Food City for supporting us!

Fair Number Two (I didn't go last year). It's the second annual EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FAIR, which will be held this coming Saturday, September 24th, 2011 at Bearden High School. It will be from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Admission is FREE to the public.

According to their promotion, "There will be more than 40 booths, demonstrations and classes. Over 26 organizations will be represented. There will be Child ID kits, Ready Kit Bags, Door prize, Giveaways and Emergency and Disaster Services Vehicles on site. Some of the valuable information will include senior citizen care, financial preparedness, severe weather, emergency essentials for pets, short term food storage, family emergency communication plans and more."

For more information visit the web site at:

I really want to go to this because emergency preparedness NEEDS to be part of everyone's agenda. I have had a close call to danger only once, but that was enough! We had to evacuate for the warehouse fire downtown in February of 2007. Living in a newly retrofitted historical building, we were BLASTED out when the alarm went off--pulsating lights, screaming alarms--and only seconds to put on some "street clothes" and grab our essentials. Fortunately I had been to an emergency preparedness presentation by some of this weekend's fair participants. I knew what to have close on hand. My husband and I were out of our condo building in no time, only to see a frightening fire just a block away that could possibly migrate to where we were with some terrific wind that evening. Yep, it was scary.

It was 2 a.m. After watching the fire from another angle (away from the wind), we went and joined numerous neighbors at the Walmart. Others hung out at the Waffle House.

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