When I saw a flyer promoting a movie screening for the documentary Fresh, one thing came to mind. The event was taking place in my small town, Kannapolis, at the retro Gem Theatre. I really didn’t know what to expect with turnout. Most of the cultural events we like to attend entail driving Uptown or out-of-town, to NoDa or Asheville.
Driving up and seeing the huge line of cars and people wrapped around the building, tents with food vendors giving away free samples, and fresh produce galore, I knew we were in for a treat! I’m pretty sure Cannon Village, where the Gem Theatre is located, hadn’t seen a crowd this big since 1993.
My grandmother was the manager of food services for Kannapolis City Schools until her retirement, so I know that if she were alive, she would have loved all aspects of the event. We sampled sweet potato chips and collards from local restaurant forty-six. Then we moved on to organic coffee, beet cake, caprese skewers, strawberry shortcake, salad, couscous, chocolate zucchini bread and honey brittle from local businesses and culinary students. I’m glad we opted to skip dinner for the healthy fare. I also picked up pamphlets about North Carolina fruit/vegetables and when to plant them, along with info on local farmer’s markets.
Popcorn and locally bottled water awaited us as we entered the packed theatre. For the next hour and a half, we watch the documentary Fresh. Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. The film examines where our food comes from and wants you to ask yourself that question the next time you purchase produce, meat, or milk. Take a look at the trailer:
The evening wrapped up with a panel discussion and audience questions. The panelists included a local farm owner, a food system coordinator, a culinary instructor, a pastor, and an agriculture extension agent. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the gift basket raffle, nevertheless, the evening was amazing. I hope that more events like this are hosted locally. I think the large turnout spoke for itself that our town wants more cultural events, and I read a few months ago in a projected city revitalization plan, that local officials think the same.