The sixth annual Taste of the Town will feature 17 of the area’s best restaurants and caterers, along with two wineries, on April 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Museum of East Alabama in downtown Opelika. 

A silent auction during the event will offer a variety of items and packages.

Restaurants and caterers participating in this year’s event include Café 123, Zazu, Outback Steakhouse, Longhorn, Niffer’s, Irish Bred Pub, Acre, Amsterdam Cafe, O’Town Ice Cream, Sweet Malisa’s, Ursula’s Catering, Southern Hospitality Catering, La Cantina, Jefferson’s, Butcher Block Barbecue, Chicken Salad Chick and Zoe’s.

Warm Springs Winery and Hodges Winery will provide tastings while Mocha Mama’s will serve specialty coffee. Toomer’s Lemonade, sodas and bottled water will also be available throughout the museum on the upper and lower levels.

While tasting superb dishes and sipping wine, attendees can browse the silent auction on the lower level, featuring treasures from local merchants, as well as trips and golf packages. Tables for attendees will be arranged inside the museum and outside on the sidewalk.

Proceeds from the fundraiser provide for repairs and upkeep of the museum. Every year visitors from around the globe visit the museum to view the history of East Alabama.

Located at the site of the old Clement Hotel on 9th Street in Opelika, the museum contains more than 5,000 artifacts from Lee and surrounding counties.  The museum was founded in August 1989 by the late Eleanor and John T. Harris. Volunteers kept the museum operating until funds were available to hire a director.

The Harrises’ son, Bert Harris, who is a member of the board, said the museum is still open today because of community support.

"The museum truly owes its existence to so many wonderful people who have been willing to donate their family treasures, their time and money to make the museum a success," he said. "The museum is preserving our heritage intact with funds from the Taste of the Town,” adds Harris, “as restaurants and wineries donate, and the community supports the event."

Among the permanent exhibits are World War II POW Camp collection, John Herbert Orr collection, Pepperell Post Office and other items from Pepperell mill, a covered bridge exhibit and antique doll collection. Lee County’s business, rural and architectural heritage are also displayed. Other exhibits include Civil War, collection of arrowheads, World War II exhibit, local fire and police exhibits, vintage apparel, exhibit on Roy Lee Jackson, Billy Hitchcock, a pioneer frontier kitchen with a wood burning stove and much more. 

Taste of the Town will allow community members to continue to help provide a living history for future generations.

“We thank the restaurants and sponsors for their continued support of the Taste,” says Jim Hardin, president of the board. “It is our major fund raising effort for the year and is critical for our service efforts to preserve the history of East Alabama.” 

Tickets for the event are $25 and are available at the museum or online at Membership is also available on various levels. Glenn Buxton is director of the museum.  

The Museum of East Alabama is located at 121 S. 9th St. Hours are Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays and Mondays. Admission is free; donations are accepted. 

For further information call 749-2751. Sponsors for the fundraiser are Auburn Bank, Opelika Observer, Henry J. Stern Family Foundation and Glynn Smith Chevrolet.

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