Hundreds of local and area residents poured into the Patriot Center at Southern State Community College on Thursday for The Times-Gazette’s annual Salt Homemakers Show, providing more than a ton of food for the Highland County Homeless Shelter, visiting local vendors, and learning to whip up some new dishes thanks to three cooking demonstrations.
Guests began filing in at 4 p.m. and spent the next two hours enjoying various dishes and displays before the show kicked-off at 6 p.m.
This year, the three candidates vying for the open Highland County Commission seat demonstrated their culinary skills. Democratic candidate Tara Campbell paired up with cousin Ryan Matthews to make “Campbell’s Cobbler.” Independent candidate Alex Butler and his mom, Andrea Holt, created a “Patriotic Surprise.” Republican candidate Terry Britton and his wife, Bonnie, made their famous “Britton Bars.”
The candidates met backstage before the show to go over the program and get last-minute instructions from Terry Mikkelsen of Tech-T productions, who provided the audio and visual services throughout the show. The presenters said later that they enjoyed the show and the chance to show a relaxed and fun side of themselves to the large audience.
Sharon Hughes of The Times-Gazette and Leslie Ramsey of WVNU again served as emcees, giving away more than one hundred prizes provided by vendors and sponsors. Most of those who attended donated food for the Highland County Homeless Shelter, and once again sheriff Donnie Barrera was helping with the food collection and ticket distribution. Those who brought food were provided with tickets for prize drawings later in the evening.
Along with Hughes, Ann Runyon-Elam and her niece, Pyper, as well as Vicki Fraley, Lora Davis, Chuck Miller and Tracie Guisinger helped set up the show.
“This is one of our biggest events of the year, and one of the most fun,” said Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of The Times-Gazette. “We appreciate all our volunteers, vendors and sponsors, the hundreds who attend, and especially Southern State Community College for their assistance in making each year’s show a big success.”
Several attendees said that this year’s crowd was one of the biggest in recent years.
As always, guests entered the Patriot Center and enjoyed meals provided by Kroger and Walmart, ranging from chili, cornbread and cookies from Kroger and chicken, macaroni and cupcakes from Walmart.
Other vendors and sponsors included the Hillsboro Uptown Business Association, Bon Appetit, Dallas Music, Olde Cellar, Sisel-David Miller, Walgreens, Premier Jewelry, Community Care Hospice, Twenty-Four Exchange, Essential Oils, WVNU, State Farm-Amatha Farrens, Lowes, Merchants National Bank, Humana, Highland District Hospital, Highland County Senior Citizens, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Adena, the YMCA, Hillsboro Dog Park Association, Save-A-:Lot, The Laurels of Hillsboro, Community Market, D&P Electric Services, Town & Country, K&B Plumbing, Jim’s Body Shop, Robbins Village Florist, Shoelaces Catering, Jeff Page Greenhouse, RetroFoam, The Family Diner and Lukas Pharmacy.