So many hats — and only one head!

Kelly Burchett, Knox County’s First Lady, joined in the fun.

Maybe it was the startlingly beautiful weather last Friday. Or maybe it was the mimosas and Bloody Marys. Or maybe it was just getting a bunch of nice ladies and a bunch of nice hats together in one spot.

Or a combination of all three.

But, whatever it was, something made the 6th annual “Hats in Bloom” luncheon at the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum an absolutely joyous occasion. People could not stop smiling as they tried on hats designed by acclaimed milliner Patricia Frankum prior to a delightful lunch by caterer Rex Bradford Jones.

The noise level rose to a loud roar as more and more women poured into the Dogwood Center located on the 47 acres that comprise the East Knoxville garden. The only misstep of the day was when the champagne ran out during lunch, which was probably for the better!


The woman of the hour, milliner Patricia Frankum.

Jackie Wilson, right, was a co-chair of the Hats in Bloom Committee. She’s pictured here with Melanie Wood, left, and Susan Farris. Jackie’s fellow co-chairs were Vicki Williams Baumgartner and Jenny Bushkell.

Vicki Baumgartner, left, with Alaine McBee.

Janet Testerman, left, with her mother, Janet Testerman Crossley.

Connie Wallace with Jim Richards, executive director of the botanical gardens. (Brave man to mingle with all these ladies.)

From left, Jessica Flanary, Deborah Franklin, Karen Nidiffer, Kim Henry and Jacque Hawks.

From left, Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill, Nora Robinson and Cheryl McKenry.

From left, Megan Stair, Victoria Daniel Cape and Ana Dominquez.

Kati Blalock trying to decide.

Moxley Carmichael’s Maria McHale sampling a pink hat.

And a lilac one.

Karen White, left, and Lane Hays.

Georgiana Vines, left, and Fran Scheidt.

The passed caprese picks were refreshing.

Cream cheese and olive pimento cheese sandwiches.

Hats, hats, hats.

I liked this yellow one.

The boxes were as stunning as the hats.

Victoria Daniel Cape, left, and Shirley Estes.

Tracey Courtney-Arnall and Maureen Dunn McBride.

From left, Tami Goodman, Jan Bechtel, Anje English and Glo Klarich.

Susan Hawthorne with an appropriate pin for a garden party.

The mums were real!

Gay Lyons didn’t plan to buy another hat this year. But this red one was calling her name, she said!

Erin Donovan, left, and Cheryl Ball.

Erin is the executive director of a new charity called Josh and Friends, which gives a stuffed Josh to sick children. Josh wore a hat for the occasion.

Rex Bradford Jones.

Shaun Fulco, left, and Lauren Miller, both of Moxley Carmichael.

Susan Conway, left, and Carolyn Leahy.

Is this the cutest thing? Unfortunately, it already was snapped up by the time I saw it.

All the centerpieces were for sale. Like this one by Meghan Miller.

Moxley Carmichael’s Maria Cornelius, left, with Nora Robinson.

Mary Walker, left, and Megan Venable.

Mary’s hat was created by her daughter when she was in the second grade. She’s 21 now!

From left, Cindi DeBusk, Cathy Campbell and Cindi’s daughter, Marcinda Asburry.

Linda Haynes, left, and Tonya Copeland

Joy Johnson, left, and Melanie Bennett.

Johnna Easter wasn’t going to let a broken ankle stop her.

Johnnie Creel.

Joan Ashe, left, and Mary Sue Bjorklund.

Jacque Hawks, left, with Kim Henry.

From left, Cheryl McKenry, Tinah Utsman and Debbie Jones.

Cathy Hill, right, and her daughter, Laura Davis.

Beautiful music was provided by Beverly Kerr.

From left, Bernadette Redano, Barbara Darce and Phyllis Driver.

From left, Angelyn Campbell, Janie Bitner and Wanda Taylor.

From left, Amy Cross, Donna Curry, Melanie Bennett and Sandra Butler.

Gay Lyons, the editor of VIP Knoxville magazine, spotted Bridget Mounger wearing the same dress that was on the magazine’s cover this month.

Allyn Purvis Schwartz loves hats!

Cheryl McKenry, left, with Moxley Carmichael’s Katrina Roberts.

I thought lunch was smart because it was designed to be served cold. Bourbon citrus chicken with carrot puree; couscous salad with vegetables; copper penny carrots and yeast rolls.

A strawberry shortcake hat!

Jayne Burritt bought a beautiful centerpiece.

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8 Responses to So many hats — and only one head!

  1. Shaun Fulco, on April 21st, 2018 at 9:27 am said:

    One of my favorite events of the year! Thanks for including me.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on April 21st, 2018 at 10:54 am said:

    Shaun: I agree! Thanks for coming!

  3. Joan Ashe, on April 21st, 2018 at 11:40 am said:

    Jackie and Jenny put on a great event. Rex did a fabulous job with the food, weather was perfect, and everyone looked very stylish in Patricia’s creations. Didn’t get around to seeing everyone. Next year Cynthia we need to get you in a hat!

  4. Monique Anderson, on April 21st, 2018 at 1:29 pm said:

    Always such a fun spring event!

  5. Gay Lyons, on April 21st, 2018 at 2:21 pm said:

    This is one of my favorite events of the year. [Disclosure: I’m on the committee.] Things were absolutely perfect this year: the weather, Patricia’s beautiful hats (Thanks for busting me on the hat purchase!), the food, and so many friends there that I don’t get to say hello to all of them. I love your color coordinated photos. Thanks for taking the photo of Bridget wearing her “cover dress.” We should all put on our hats more often. It’s hard not to smile when you’re wearing a pretty hat.

  6. Allyn Purvis Schwartz, on April 22nd, 2018 at 11:32 am said:

    Great photos and wrap up, Cynthia! It is also, one of my favorite events of the year(Disclosure: Like Gay, I am on the committee!) The weather could not have been better! I see faces here that I missed at the party!

  7. Tinah, on April 23rd, 2018 at 6:14 pm said:

    Fun! fUN! FUN!!!!!

  8. Hope Ellington, on November 17th, 2018 at 5:49 pm said:

    This looks like a truly lovely event! I purchased TWO of Patricia’s absolutely stunning HATS today at the Christkindmarkt in Ferdinand, IN! I could not be more thrilled with them. I wore the black one all day! I got more compliments on it that my husband started telling me he put a sign on my back telling people to tell me ‘Tell my wife she looks amazing in her hat!’ The other hat was a champagne colored one with silk trim and ostrich feathers! I can’t wait to wear it either! We live in Monroe County not too far from Knox County!

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