By Sandy Scarmack
Herald Staff Writer
“I’m more than satisfied, I can tell you that,” said Michael Rich, who waited two weeks to travel up from Edinburg for Saturday’s Taste of Farrell at Veterans Park.
“I talked to some people from Farrell and they were telling me about it. And for two weeks I’ve been telling my wife, ‘I want to go to that,’ ” he said.
Vendors hawking everything from ribs, fried fish, french fries and pasta, to sweet potato pies, brownies and fruit lined the perimeter of the park at the intersection of Spearman Avenue and Federal Street, while the Jim Frank trio entertained with jazz music.
“And that’s the group that played at our wedding,” said Aislynn Rich, while the couple’s two-year-old daughter, Lydia, thoroughly enjoyed a chocolate brownie.
Booths from the locally famous Italian Home and Slovak Home were also selling food that the event designed to showcase “the best of Farrell.”
By noon, several dozen people strolled the grounds, sampling from the various booths. Lynette Evans, manning the booth for the Seeds of Faith ministry, said the ribs were selling.
“They’ve been going. Who doesn’t like ribs?” she said. All the money raised from the ribs and fries goes to support Joshua’s Haven, a Sharon shelter for homeless men, and the Buhl Community Recreation Center in Sharon, she said.
“We’ll be opening in a couple weeks in the Shenango Valley Mall,” Evans said. They plan to sell baked goods there to raise money to support local charities.
Sharon James was working the booth for Southwest Gardens, a Farrell organization that, among other things, helps homeless women find shelter. “Our pies are flying,” she said.
All of the pies were baked by Martha Richards, the founder of Southwest Gardens. “Problem is, these pies are so good most of them were sold before they ever even got here,” James said.
By late afternoon, a car show was in full swing and the crowd grew. “We won’t have anything left,” James said.
Twin sisters Marcie Dillingham and Maxie Phillips had something a little more personal in mind with money they were raising.
“We’re raising money to get to our family reunion in Chicago next weekend,” said Phillips. “We’re chartering a bus for 21 of us to go there,” she said. The Cozart-Knight-Barnett reunion was held last year in Farrell, but the Chicago side is hosting this year, Dillingham said.
Selling big and small sweet potato pies, huge frosted brownies and chilled fruit cups, this was the first time the sisters had been to the Taste of Farrell. “We didn’t do any good at Buhl Park (last Buhl Day). But things are getting busy here,” Phillips, of Wheatland, said.
This is the second year for the free event.