The Franklin-Simpson Farmers Market held the Hometown Harvest Dinner outside for the first time since the concept began nearly four years ago, in the alley beside the Brickyard Cafe.

"My dream is fulfilled, I actually got to have [the dinner] outside and it was hot, but I think overall the later it got the better it got," said Kim Roberts, president of the FS Farmers Market.

Before the dinner began there was a pre-dinner festival with appetizers served and prepared by farmers market vendors spearheaded by Little Bent Farms.

"We made a few appetizers and helped get everything together for the pre-dinner festival," said Michael Ferrell, of Little Bent Farms. "I think it showcases all of the farms different produce."

Everyone that came to the pre-dinner festival also planned to attend the main dinner to support the community and the local farmers.

"It's a really good cause, good people," said Nathan Killen.

He brought his wife, Tori and their 2 ½ year old daughter to enjoy the appetizers.

"I liked the sweet corn dip and the relish was good too," Tori said.

Dueling Grounds Distillery had a booth set up at the pre-dinner festival selling mixed drinks and offering information about the distillery to guests.

"We are an agricultural product," said Marc Dottore, owner of Dueling Grounds Distillery. "We get our corn and our wheat from the local area and distilling in its earliest form was an agricultural endeavor."

The Brickyard Café prepared the meal with guests having the option of chicken or steak with a salad, a vegetable side, mashed potatoes and a berry cake for dessert.

Local community members volunteered to serve the food the night of the event. Roberts said she had about 30 volunteers to serve, ranging from farmers to business owners to friends helping out.

Chris Davidson said he volunteered to serve because he is friends with the organizer and he volunteers every year.

Despite not having a lot of room to maneuver in the alley, Davidson said, they had a flow of traffic going which helped to keep people from bumping into one another.

"I think it adds a little character to the event because it is kind of based on outdoor event anyway, farmers and the agriculture community," Davidson said.

John Kullman said he ordered the steak while his wife ordered the chicken so they could both taste the chicken and the steak. The Kullman's came to enjoy the music, food and have a good time like they did last year.

Shelly Clark said this was the first year she had participated because a friend invited her.

"This is beautiful," Clark said. "They did a really nice job."

During the dinner Steve Thurmond, executive director of the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, emceed the event and assisted with giving away door prizes.

The prizes were donated from farmers market vendors, Salon G, Kim's Salon, Cozy Corner, Mustard Seed Market, Ruby Branch Farms, Jim's BBQ, O'Reilly's, Tractor Supply, Southern States Franklin Coop, Downey's Detailing, A&J Beef and vegetable baskets were donated by Garden Spot Produce, Farmhouse Produce and The Macedonia Homestead.

When the dinner came around Roberts said they had about four tickets left at the door that had not sold and some people had mentioned they could not make it last minute.

Roberts said if they stayed inside their budget then would net at least $5,000 from the event thanks to the sponsors and contributors.

"I just want to thank everyone for coming and enduring the heat with us," she said. "I'm almost at a loss for words."

All of the money raised from the fundraiser benefits the FS Farmers Market for marketing and utilities on the pavilion, Roberts said.

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