EVENT: Taste of our Town (TOOT)
WHEN: Saturday, October 12, 2013
WHERE: Downtown Lewisburg, WV
It’s that time of year again when the crimsoning leaves draw in out-of-towners and the warm, crisp daytime weather beckons locals outside- when tantalizing smells from all corners of the county blend together at a much anticipated event to lure you into the streets of Lewisburg. Taste of Our Town, more commonly known as TOOT, marks this fusion of senses with the tastes and smells of local delectables and the sights and sounds of the bustling crowd.
Set to be held on Saturday, October 12, 2013, the festival will revel in its 29th year as an ever-growing icon of the Greenbrier Valley that celebrates something we all know and love- food. Born and cultivated as an idea of Lewisburg’s Carnegie Hall, the event now attracts more than 10,000 festival-goers annually and boasts over 55 vendors. Seasoned TOOT enthusiasts know to come early in the day for their yearly favorites, such as Wolf Creek Gallery’s popular crab cakes, savory shrimp and grits from The Greenbrier Sporting Club, and the Historic General Lewis Inn’s pecan pie, but they also know to keep a sharp eye our for many of the new and exciting tastes. First time TOOT vendor, Christ Our Savior of the Valley Lutheran Church will make their debut serving the southern favorite snack of boiled peanuts while the Greenbrier Valley Board of Realtors will serve up a classic comfort dish of brown beans and cornbread for their “Feed the Need” campaign. From the Greenbrier’s ice cream to Fujiyama’s sushi and edamame, there will surely be something to please everyone’s palate.
As if the plethora of food isn’t enough, the festival will also offer a variety of entertainment and activities. Students from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine will be present at the event, offering activities such as health checks and face painting, while the kids’ area will entertain younger TOOT attendees with recreations such as jolly jumps, a climbing wall, a euro bungee, and pumpkin painting with the Children’s Home Society. Music will also flood the streets with a variety of sounds. Some musical acts to look forward to include the smooth style of the West Virginia Jazz Orchestra, the down-home sound of the Allegheny Hellbenders, and the up-and-coming band Marguerite. Choir and band performances from Greenbrier East High School and Eastern Greenbrier Junior High will ring in the autumn season and highlight the efforts of their new school year. Other performances not to miss include dance shows from various local groups, a fire show by Cari Cohen, and the comedy act, El Gleno Grande.
With so much to offer, TOOT is surely a must-attend event for all ages. To partake in the food tastings and other vendor festivities, be sure to purchase TOOT tokens ahead of time or at the designated booths the day of the event, which will accept cash only. There is no limit to the amount of available tokens and they will continue to be sold as long as there is food to be served, so don’t fret if you are unable to buy them ahead of time or if you realize that you would like to get more during the festival. Early token purchases can be made at Carnegie Hall and the Greenbrier Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau, or online orders can be placed at carnegiehallwv.org and picked up at the will call booth the day of the event.
So mark your calendars and come hungry for the 29th annual Taste of Our Towns celebration, which truly is the epitome of an Epicurean adventure where everyone is invited and all will be reminded to eat, drink, and be merry.
– Jennifer Sprouse, LBSPY #43 (Oct 7-21, 2013).