“We had more than 22 vendors/exhibitors set up and ready to display their ‘taste,’” Lincoln Parks and Recreation director Roben Duncan said of Monday’s event..
She said participating vendors included Pizza Hut, The Shack BBQ, First National Bank of Talladega Lincoln Branch, Blendz Smoothies & Nutrition Center, Alabama Teen Challenge, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department, Enchanted Cottage, Rick’s Crossroads Grille, KFC/Taco Bell, Steve n’ Jan’s, USAgencies, Lincoln Fire Department, Lincoln Public Library, Sarrell Dental, Buffalo Rock Company (Pepsi), 1st Class Pizza, ERA King Real Estate, It Works — Stacey Hill and Rana’s Mexican Restaurant.
“This is our first year to attend,” said Donna Haynes, real estate agent with ERA King Real Estate Logan Martin office. “I think this is great for the community. The businesses get to know other businesses and network. I think it’s fabulous you get to meet a lot of people in the community too.”
Rick Seal, owner of Rick’s Crossroads Grille, said it was also his first year to attend.
“We brought samples of Cajun and regular grilled shrimp and Stumphole cake,” he said. “Those are some of our best sellers and we hope people will try it, like it and come see us.”
Seal said Rick’s Crossroads Grille has been in Lincoln for three years — and it just keeps getting better.
“Lincoln has been very good to us,” he said. “This is our first time attending Taste of Lincoln, but we plan to participate again next year. We love the Lincoln area.”
Lindsay Frey, community outreach manager for Sarrell Dental, said it was their second year to participate.
“We loved it so much last year that we came back this year and plan to keep coming in the future,” she said.
Frey said besides munchies, the Sarrell Dental booth also gave out free toothbrushes and toothpaste.
“That way people can eat, then go home and properly care for their teeth,” she said.
Another first-time vendor was Pizza Hut.
“We have a lot more items than pizza that people don’t know about,” said Sabine Huntley, area manager for Pizza Hut. “We have pasta, wings, fried mozzarella sticks, mini apple pies, potato wedges and more (most of which were available to sample).”
Huntley said Pizza Hut plans to participate again next year.
“We were glad to have our first-time vendors including Steve n’ Jan’s, Blendz Smoothies, Enchanted Cottage, It Works, KFC/Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Alabama Teen Challenge,” Duncan said. “It was great seeing the Lincoln Fire Department with homemade turkey chili, the Lincoln Public Library with soft chew cookies and the Parks and Recreation Department with sunflower seeds and Cajun and plain boiled peanuts. One visitor, who is originally from Poland, had never had boiled peanuts. She returned several times and said the Cajun were the best.”
Duncan said more than 125 people tried the pizza, chicken, BBQ, cakes, pies, potato salad, nachos, new drinks from Pepsi and the many other delicious “tastes” available. Proceeds benefit continuing renovations at the Lincoln City Center, where the event was hosted.
“Several of the vendors felt this was one of the best Taste of Lincoln events they had attended,” she said. “And many of our new exhibitors said they will be back next year and to please keep Taste of Lincoln an annual event.”
Mayor Bud Kitchin said Taste of Lincoln is a great come-and-go event.
“I think the most significant thing we took away from last night was that more than half the vendors were first-time vendors,” he said. “We had several vendors who couldn’t participate this year due to various reasons, but the new vendors were very excited about attending and hope to attend each year.”
Kitchin said the city is looking forward to the 6th Annual Taste of Lincoln next year.
“I think everyone who attended had a very good time,” he said. “I spoke to as many folks as I could, and received very positive comments about the event and about the participating vendors — the food was excellent.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.