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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Farm Fresh Supermarkets, a Supervalu food retailer with 37 stores, will whoop it up during a three-day consumer food festival and entertainment event called the 25th annual Farm Fresh Extravaganza.
Scheduled to be held Oct. 8 to Oct. 10 at the Hampton Coliseum, the event raises funds for the Farm Fresh Charitable Foundation in support of Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, and other local charities.
The Extravaganza is the largest consumer food and entertainment show of its kind in the country, and a one-of-a-kind event in the food industry, Farm Fresh said. This year’s theme is "Stepping Back to the Oldies" with a focus on "Fabulous Food, Famous Folks, and Fantastic Fun."
"The supermarket represents a focal point for many people because food is essential to our everyday lives," Ron Dennis, Farm Fresh President and c.o.o., told Progressive Grocer. "We feel it is our responsibility to take a leadership role in identifying and helping with community programs. The Extravaganza offers our community the opportunity to not only sample new products being launched into our market, but also enjoy a day of celebrities, costume characters, and, most of all, support our local charities."
The event draws more than 20,000 consumers from the Hampton Roads area. Money generated from gate admissions, celebrity autograph signings, ticket sales, and canister donations at the vendor booths is assigned to the Farm Fresh Charitable Foundation, which is Farm Fresh's primary donation program. Although the foundation donates money to many local charities, it primarily benefits Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD). With fundraising events such as the Extravaganza, Farm Fresh has donated more than $5.6 million to the local community.
More than 140 food industry vendors will provide product tastings, samples, and coupons for a suggested donation. "The vendors are representative of all products we sell in our stores, and include everything from beverages to cereal, pizza, flowers, produce, and potato chips," said Dennis.
Entertainment for the event consists of an all-star cast of celebrities, who appeal to all ages, including Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson, Nickelodeon's Drake Bell, Christian LeBlanc from "The Young & The Restless" soap opera, the Washington Redskin Cheerleaders, and Spider-Man.
Other activities scheduled include:
-Cake Olympics: Jackie Harlow, a skills trainer for Farm Fresh Golden Harvest Bake Shoppe, will be coordinating the 6th Annual Cake Olympics. Contestants consist of the finest cake decorators from Farm Fresh throughout the company's stores. Each contestant will be judged on speed, accuracy and creativity. Cakes produced by the contestants will be auctioned off at the end of the judging, with proceeds going to the Farm Fresh Charitable Foundation.
-Diaper Dash: It's a race to the finish line as babies –- crawlers only, no walkers allowed -- crawl from one parent to the other across a 10-foot by 20-foot carpeted area. The first baby to other side is a winner.
Additionally, a host of children's activities –- aimed at education as well as entertainment –- will occur during the event.
-- Joe Tarnowski