Taste of Autumn Festival changes bring praise from event participants

Winchester Herald-Chronicle
Philip Lorenz, Staff Writer
October 24, 2014

Taste of Autumn Festival changes bring praise from event participants

The Taste of Autumn Festival featured cars that were virtually being drooled over, as shown here by Franklin County Deputy Tim Ogle (top photo) who is scrutinizing a vintage Ford Mustang.The festival also featured (bottom photo) a “cornhole” bean bag tossing game – one of the recent additions to the event that attracted people of all ages to give it a try and test their skills.
“Last year we helped with the event, and this year we cooked the chili. The weather on Saturday was great. The booth decorations, all the antique automobiles, and of course the great chili, enticed the public to come out to the square.” McCord said she thinks the event was well organized and well run.

A Winchester fall-time tradition recently underwent improvements to provide a better experience for those who love classic automobiles, homemade chili, live music and the chance to test their skills at a bean bag tossing contest.

Jerry Sharber, executive director of the Winchester Downtown Program Corporation, a non-profit organization that oversees and administers the Main Street Program for the city, explained the most recent turn of events.

“The Taste of Autumn event was started several years ago and temporarily put on hold for the downtown renovation,” he said this week. “The event was resurrected last year, held off the Square and expanded to include a car show.

“This year’s event moved to the Square and was further expanded to include a cornhole (bean bag tossing) tournament and craft beer inside two restaurants, John T’s Barbeque and Reggie’s.”

Sharber said the brew master of the Trim Tab craft beer is from Winchester. He added that the Kiwanis Club coordinated the music.

Lisa McCord, originally from Nashville and now a resident of Winchester, said she enjoyed her time hosting the Kiwanis Club’s booth during the festival.

“I heard about the event from the Kiwanis Club of Franklin County,” she said. “We have been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Franklin County for a year.

“The folks that stopped by (our) Amigo’s Chili booth seemed to be having a wonderful time,” she said “Overall, a great experience and one we look forward to next year to support our community.”

The Taste of Autumn Event is conducted by the Winchester Downtown Program to support the Winchester Main Street Program.

Events like the Taste of Autumn bring awareness to downtown Winchester, draw customers to businesses there and create a great sense community pride, Scharber said.

“The Main Street designation is an honorable designation for Winchester and requires various functions to support the health of our downtown,” he said. “Downtown events improve economic revitalization of downtown areas.

“Winchester is in the current phase of creating awareness with events to foster and improve the downtown business environment.”

The Winchester Downtown Program’s committee this year is chaired by Mike Bowden.

Committee members are Hampton Bourne, Bill Cowan, Billy Simmons, Van Watkins, Sherrie and Norm Sons. These individuals, along with numerous other event volunteers, made the Taste of Autumn a success for 2014, Sharber said.