For centuries, people have rallied in the street, danced in the street and marched in the street. Today, the trend is to come together and eat in the street.
The popularity of the Farm to Table movement, or Eat in the Street as some call it, has grown the last few years. What was initially introduced in the early 2000s by chefs to promote local farms and “knowing where your food comes from” has been picked up by Main Street and downtown organizations across the country. Downtowns from the East Coast to Tennessee to even Hawaii have hosted successful meeting and eating in the street events.
Closer to home, four Missouri Main Street communities recently partnered with farms, chefs, vendors, and producers – all local to their area – to supply everything from meat, produce, dinnerware, furniture and décor to host 150-200 people.
Downtown Odessa included dancing in their first Eat in the Street event to fundraise for future downtown projects.
Downtown Excelsior Partnership incorporated their annual awards and recognition program with their event to raise money for a mural project.
Old Town Cape planned and executed their Farm to Table event in only three months’ time to showcase and raise money for the Cape Riverfront Market.
Downtown Washington Inc. had a record sell out of 150 tickets in nine days for their event to fundraise for repointing of their c1856 Farmers’ Market building.
Through proper planning, diligence, and partnering with key groups and experienced individuals, all four groups reported great successes with few obstacles.
The phrase Farm to Table can mean different things to different people, but it most commonly means the food on the table came directly from the farm or farmers’ market without going through a store or distributor.
For Main Street, Farm to Table means the same thing, with a twist: It’s a great event to bring the community together downtown, create awareness for a specific project, and raise a little bit of funds with the fun.