COLUMBIA — Families eagerly waited in a long line Saturday night to taste some of Columbia's fresh market produce and to sample Missouri beer and wine at the second annual Taste of the Market.
Entering the event, volunteers collected tickets in order to help determine the number of people attending.
“We’re hoping to have a couple of thousand people show up,” said Pam Meng, a volunteer. There were more than 2,000 people at last year’s Taste of the Market. The large crowds and long lines seemed to indicate that this goal wouldn't be a problem.
Each guest paid $5 to get in, and additional donations for the event were collected by Kay Callison, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Farmers' Market Pavilion.
“I’m not sure how much we have, but we’ve received some $500 and $1,000 donations,” Callison said.
For a donation of just $20, guests received a reusable shopping bag to take home.
Under one of several tents set up for the evening, rows of folding chairs and bails of hay were clustered together to enable attendees to sit and enjoy the music provided by the bands Ironweed and the Northwoods. There were also live auctions and a blown-up television screen that sat at the end of the resting area. The documentary "Good Food" was scheduled to show at 8:45 p.m.; it gives viewers a more direct look at farmers, businesses and ranches creating a more sustainable food system in the Pacific Northwest.
Guests were also invited to sample wine and various foods from top chefs and diverse restaurants in Columbia.
Although the event was scheduled to go until 11 p.m., the food was running out within the first couple hours. Around 7:45 p.m. the $5 entrance fee was waived, but donations were still accepted.
Bins labeled compost, styrofoam, plastic and regular trash were there to encourage guests to recycle, and volunteers pointed out to people where each item of trash should be placed.
“We’re trying to show people the magnitude of what a difference it makes when you recycle,” said Steve Senger, a long-time volunteer with the farmers market.
Hannah Satterwhite, 17, watched her mother, Margaret Waddell, read and sing to infants and toddlers at a booth dedicated to the Hummingbirdhouse Music Studio.
“There’s tons of stuff to do here,” Satterwhite said. “The whole family can come and be entertained.”