As the days creep closer to the end of the month, Halloween celebrations start early at the seventh annual Taste of Home Cooking Show, featuring Culinary Specialist Michael Barna.
The show begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St. A vendor preview will be held at 3 p.m. at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. Fourth St.
Since Barna was such a success two years ago, people wanted him back. One of the dates he was available fell near Halloween and the program has had Christmas, Thanksgiving and Autumn themes in the past, so it was "perfect timing," said Connie Tobias, Williamsport Sun-Gazette event coordinator. The program is presented by the Sun-Gazette.
Because of the theme, two new opportunities to win prizes were added.
Anyone who attends wearing some form of a costume, even a mask, qualifies to win a prize. Best costume, determined by the audience, also will win a prize.
Another way to win a prize is by donating a canned good to the VanCampen Motors van parked in front of the main lobby entrance to be entered in a drawing for a basket of cook books. All of the donations will go to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
The show provides the audience an opportunity to learn how to make fast, easy meals, Tobias said.
A goody bag, filled with a Taste of Home cookbook and coupons, will be available for everyone who attends.
Tickets may be ordered by calling 326-1551 or 800-339-0289 or stopping in the Sun-Gazette office at 252 W. Fourth St. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
General admission is $12, with preferred seating in the first five rows, $25 per person.
Chef's VIP Circle seating, which is in the Sterling Circle and includes a meet-and-greet with the chef, is $50. Limited seating is available.
Limited tickets will be available at the door Tuesday.
National sponsors, who are expected to be featured in the recipes, are Domino/C&H, Eggland's Best, Gallo Family Vineyards, Johnsonville, National Pork Board, Saladmaster, Mrs. Dash and Shop Taste of Home.
The show sponsors are Beiter's, Bill's Appliance, Kitchen Design Studios, Smith Furniture, Weis Markets, West Branch Realtors Association, Genetti Hotel & Suites and Community Arts Center.
Show sponsors and merchants are:
Grocery sponsor - Weis Markets
Appliance sponsor - Bill's Appliance
Cabinetry sponsor - Kitchen Design Studio
Wagon and hay - Alexander Family Dealerships
Television and cabinet - Beiter's
Jewelry armoire Smith Furniture
Food bank sponsor - VanCampen Motors
Twin Hills Health
Vendors and door prize contributors:
Beiter's Home Center
Eagle Rock Winery
Fort Muncy Nursery
Twin Hills Health