The Community Action Group of Englewood (CAGE) now has tickets available for its annual Dining with the Dead event.

According to CAGE Chairman Mark Cochran, CAGE is “always happy” to host this event for the community.

“It has been going on for 10 years and this program has been a sellout every year,” Cochran said. “When we originally brought it up about a decade ago, we thought it was a unique concept and hoped that the public would react positively to it and we have been overwhelmed every year by the amount of people who are interested in attending and enjoy the event.”

The event has continued its tradition each year, including last year during the midst of the pandemic.

“We were very fortunate to be able to host it last year,” Cochran noted. “It is an outdoor event so we were able to accomodate proper social distancing and it was even a sale out last year. It is one of the few events that remained schedule and I think people were ready to get out of the house by last November.”

The event is currently scheduled for Nov. 13 in the Cochran Cemetery in Englewood at 5 p.m.

“Even though it is a month out from the event, people are already calling for tickets and coming to pick them up,” he expressed. “We expect it to sell out very quickly and we always want to tell people early that if this is something that you haven’t had the opportunity to go to in the past, buy that ticket early because they don’t last long. While that is a good problem for us to have we would like people who haven’t been and would like to go to buy early to ensure they can go.”

Cochran stated CAGE prides itself on the event being both social and educational.

“It promotes local history in an entertaining way and I think it is something that a lot of people will come to out of curiosity,” Cochran said. “They get to learn about local Civil War and Revolutionary War figures who they’ve likely never heard the stories of before, so it is our hope that when they leave they leave with a sense of excitement about history and with a sense of pride for their community. We learn often about the big names in the Civil War, but there were a lot of local names that participated in big battles, so we hope they gain that sense of community pride.”

Tickets are $25 this year and can be obtained through the Englewood Textile Museum, which can be reached by calling (423) 887-5455, or the Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce, which can be reached by calling (423) 263-2228.

“We can usually accommodate up to 140 people and those tickets sell quick,” Cochran expressed. “We would really like to express our gratitude to the Gem Players in Etowah because the event would not be entertaining if it weren’t for them bringing those characters to life. They do a fantastic job of making you feel like you are listening to that character and truly hearing their story, so we owe the event’s success in large part to the Gem Players.”

Another partial reason for the success of the event is the food that is served.

“You will be fed a home cooked meal with your choice of beef stew or chicken and dumplings,” he noted. “We will also have cornbread and cobbler ... People always enjoy the food and you will not leave hungry so not only do you get a good show but you also get a good meal.”

Cochran attributed the full success of the event to former Etowah Chamber Executive Director Durant Tullock, who recently passed away.

“When we reformatted Dining with the Dead about a decade ago, we based the way we did it a lot off of Murders on Main Street and he never had a problem with that. Instead he encouraged it and helped us format our event,” Cochran expressed. “We owe Durant and all of his work a great deal for our success, so I think it is timely to recognize him for all of his contributions to our event. Durant was never selfish with his ideas if he thought it would help another community. He shared that. Durant and I collaborated a lot on Dining with the Dead so I really want to thank him a whole lot.”

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