FLORENCE, N.C. – “Springtime in Paris” comes to Florence on Thursday with the Florence Symphony Guild’s 19th annual Taste of the Symphony. The event is being held at Roseneath Farm, 1102 Cherokee Lane, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Restaurants and businesses are donating their time and talent in support of music in the Pee Dee. More than 20 area chefs have agreed to prepare food for the event, along with members of the Florence Symphony Guild. There will also be cocktails and live music.

The proceeds from this event help support the Florence Symphony Orchestra, which celebrated its 70th anniversary with the 2018-19 season.

Wholly Smokin’ Downtown is among the businesses participating.

“We started in 2010,” said Jackie Travis, owner/operator.

She said she also participated years ago with her catering company Let Them Eat Cake.

“Our chef is preparing two amazing items for this year,” Travis said.

Wholly Smokin’ chef Tee Goodman will prepare smoked chicken wings, which Travis said has gotten rave reviews from customers at the restaurant who say they are the best they have ever eaten. Goodman is also preparing deviled eggs with fried chicken tenders and fried pickles.

“We add our own spices,” Travis said. “It is delicious.”

Travis said she and her husband started volunteering their time and talent years ago to the Taste of the Symphony.

“My husband and I believed strongly in supporting the arts,” she said. “It just brings fullness to life.”

Her husband, Bill, died in August 2017.

They both were musically inclined. Bill played saxophone, and Jackie played the piano.

She said their children have also been involved in the arts and music.

“Our son runs a music recording studio in New York, and our daughter danced with the South Carolina Dance Theatre,” she said.

Travis said the Taste is a wonderful event because you get to meet a lot of people following the same cause and get to sample some amazing food from the many talented chefs in Florence.

“Giving back to the community is one of the biggest callings any business can have,” Travis said. “It is what supports our business.”

Travis said she is a great believer in the words from the Bible – “To whom much is given much will be required.”

“We have been very blessed,” she said. “It is our mission to give back to not only those who support us but to those with the greatest need.”

Wholly Smokin’ relocated downtown in 2014. It started out as a take-out only business in 2012.

“That was after 25 years in the jewelry industry,” Travis said.

She and her husband owned Travis Jewelers.

“This was my husband’s dream,” she said.

She said it is sometimes a challenge to always do things the way he envisioned them.

“We are now ready to take his legacy to wherever God leads us,” she said.

Wholly Smokin’ isn’t your typical barbecue buffet restaurant, Travis said.

She said Wholly Smokin’ has fantastic food and a family atmosphere.

“We have a saying that its barbecue ribs and a whole lot more,” she said. “We have a full-service bar. We are reinventing what a barbecue restaurant can be, and we are not being defined by establishment.”

The restaurant hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The restaurant is at 150 S. Dargan St. in Florence.

Tickets for the Taste of Symphony are $75 per person. Tickets can be purchased at First Reliance Bank (Palmetto Street branch), Fisher Jeweler’s or Talbots in the Florence Mall or on Eventbrite. Attendees must be 21 years or older.