HARRISBURG -- Once again, a sellout crowd enjoyed samples of the finest fare southern Illinois has to offer as the 21st Taste of Southern Illinois hosted food and drink vendors from across the region Sunday while raising money to clothe the children of southern Illinois.
"It makes my heart warm, so many fine people of Southern Illinois coming together in support of SI kids. It's just a fun event with great food, which makes for a good formula. It really is the food and the restaurants that bring people here," said Michael Tison, founder of the Taste of Southern Illinois.
State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, chairman of the board of the Fowler Bonan Foundation, said the success of the event means more children in southern Illinois will be provided with new clothes and coats. The foundation's Clothes for SI Kids is the beneficiary of money raised from the event.
"People love coming to this event, and as Michael said for our clothes for kids' program, this is just going to help us clothe more underprivileged children of Southern Illinois; people support that, they support the event, so it's a win-win. We really couldn't do it without the restaurants' support," Fowler said.
The event featured both local favorites, like Peking Palace, Johnson's Southern-Style Barbecue and Mackie's Pizza, in addition to other popular venues from the region like Marion Red Lobster, Koerner Distributor/Speakeasy Liquors, and Purple Toad Winery of Paducah.