Sponsored by the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Wilson County’s benefits are twofold. First, it allows restaurants, eateries and others the chance to showcase their local fare to the hundreds who attend annually. Taste of Wilson County is also a premier education fundraiser that benefits scholarships to Wilson County students, teachers’ grants and financial support for Wilson Books from Birth. Since Taste of Wilson County started, it has funded 516 teacher grants and gave out more than $218,000.
The event showcases local dining experiences in Wilson County. It will feature more than 70 food and marketplace vendors, so there will be something for everyone. There will be a Gourmet Drive and Dining Lane for visitors to taste the best food Wilson County has to offer, as well as a Let’s Go Shopping Lane to get a glimpse at what local businesses have to offer.
A Spirit and Bottles Boulevard will offer tastings while the band, Double Take, performs. Artisan Avenue and Author’s Corner will also be featured for visitors to see work from local artists and surrounding schools’ displays and talk to Wilson County authors and historians.
Mac Griffin will emcee the Taste of Wilson County, and near there, a Battle of the Mascots dance-off will take place. Kid Valley will offer Lebanon Special School District’s Kindness Cadets and both the Neon and STEM buses. The balloon man, hometown heroes, Imagine That Art and Kona Ice will also entertain children.
Outside, the annual Grill-Off Challenge will take place with dignitaries, school principals and other representatives in competition.
Something new at Taste of Wilson County will be the Culinary Challenge, which will feature Lebanon High School and Wilson Central High School’s culinary teams as they face off with celebrity judges to decide on the winner. Another new competition will be a pie-eating contest. The first six contestants to sign up with compete for a prize.
While outside for the pie-eating contest, visitors will be able to meet and sample food from Chef Trey Cioccia with Wedge Oak Farm.
Southern STARRS will bring agriculture to life at its Pet the Ponies area. Multiple seating areas will be available both inside and outside the Expo Center.
Ticket prices are $25 for adults 12 and older, $8 for children 6-11 years old, $10 for teachers and free for children 5 and younger. VIP tickets are $35 and will offer a seat in the VIP areas, as well as a private caterer and adult beverages. For tickets, more information and a full vendor list, visit tasteofwilsoncounty.com or call 615-444-5503.
The Taste of Wilson County’s main sponsor is Wilson Bank & Trust. Other sponsors include Famous Footwear, Wilson County Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Hyundai, Cumberland University and Wes Dugan’s Farm Bureau Insurance.