It was a night of celebrations - and, of course, food - at the seventh annual Taste of Home Cooking show.
The show, held in the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St., again featured culinary specialist Michael Barna, who cooked for the area two years ago. Tuesday night's show was his 100th ever. Even still, he said he was the baby of the Taste of Home family, working there for 2 1/2 years.
Throughout the night, prizes were awarded to names randomly drawn from the crowd of about 800 people. Audience members received dishes that he showed them how to prepare, gift cards, jewelry and more. Two of the audience members received prizes that could not quite fit in their cars.
Culinary specialist Michael Barna poses with grand prize winners Linda Scott, of Montgomery, left, and Christine Bomboy, of Lock Haven. Scott won a range from Bill’s Appliances and Bomboy won a 46-inch television and stand from Beiters. View more Taste of Home photo coverage on Page B-1.
Linda Scott, of Montgomery, won her choice of either a gas or an electric stove from Bill's Appliance Center, a prize much bigger than anything she won since attending every year since it came to the area.
"I had to call my husband and tell him," Scott said. She said she was shocked and surprised, but her husband? "Completely shocked."
Previously, she had won a salad spoon and fork.
For grand prize winner Christine Bomboy, of Lock Haven, it was her only time she ever won, but she made it a big one, winning a television set and stand from Beiter's Home Center.
She has been coming for three years as a "girl's night out," since she enjoys cooking.
"I never win anything!" Bomboy said. "I'm still in shock."
Since the night fell about two weeks away from Halloween, decorations and costumes joined the show. Ghosts hung from the ceiling and Master of Ceremonies Bernard A. Oravec, Williamsport-Sun Gazette publisher, came decked out as a pirate.
"Arrr, we want some grub," Oravec told Barna at the start of the show.
Audience members were encouraged to participate in a costume contest. Justina Quiggle, of Williamsport, won, after spending two hours making herself into a purple loofah. She found the idea on Pinterest.com, a website that lets users "pin" ideas for recipes, cleaning tips and clothes.
Her friends, Jolene Longo and Laura Fausey, both of Salladasburg, went as video game characters Mario and Luigi, respectively - complete with mustache necklaces.
During the show, Barna quickly showed the audience how to make 10 recipes featured in the Fall 2012 Cooking School Cookbook, complete with tips how to improve the recipes and make them faster.
"The show's not about dicing a slice of celery," Barna said. "I'm not teaching them how to cook."
He said that he keeps the show interesting by telling jokes, especially if something goes wrong.
"Things happen, you react," Barna said.
So when his rolling pin kept sticking to the dough or when he forgot to add the pie crust while making the upside-down apple pie, he laughed along with the audience.