Laughs and lovely hats launch spring

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon looks great in a hat!

One of my favorite annual events is back! “Hats in Bloom” is a fundraiser for the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum. It involves scores of beautiful hats for sale, a delicious lunch, pretty centerpieces that can be purchased — and very little else! No long program, no auction and no videos. It’s just fun!

Key to the event’s success are the hats, of course. They are produced and delivered by Indiana milliner Patricia Frankum, who has become something of a local celebrity since so many East Tennessee women now own her stunning creations. The hat buying became something of a frenzy last Friday as guests arrived early to start trying them on while sipping mimosas and Bloody Marys.

It has become a beloved Moxley Carmichael tradition for the company to purchase a table at Hats in Bloom and invite all our female employees to fill it. (Don’t worry! There’s a golf outing in the works for the guys!)

Milliner Patricia Frankum with one of her creations – well, two, if you count the one on her head!

Some of the lovely options for purchase.

We caught our friend Allyn Purvis Schwartz in the midst of making a decision!

Allie Clouse of Moxley Carmichael also tries on a fun headpiece! (Photo by Katrina Roberts)


Mimi Turner, left, was hat shopping with her mother, Emily Browning.

These beauties make the decision difficult!

Sandi Swilley.

Jenny Bushkell, left, and Cathy Campbell enjoying the day.

Not everyone was wearing a hat! Here are City Council Member Janet Testerman, right, and her mother, Janet Testerman Crossley.

Caterer extraordinaire Holly Hambright even bought herself a hat before starting the plating!

Some of the delicious passed nibbles: herbed spinach and artichoke dip and smoked salmon and tomato relish in phylo cups. Yum!

One of Holly’s signature appetizers: candied bacon!

Victoria Daniel-Cape, left, and Monique Anderson.

Susan Hyde, left, and Karen Mann.

Even though I teased Sandra Butler about being a two-fisted drinker, she was actually holding one of these glasses for a friend who was visiting the ladies’ room!

Loved Monica Travis’ ensemble!

From left, Jane Powers, Gail Jarvis and Deborah Franklin.

From left, Kathy Brennan, Linda Haynes and Sandi Burdick.

Jennifer Holder, left, and Jacque Hawks.

There was beautiful music by Beverly Kerr.

Here are some of the Moxley Carmichael ladies, from left, Katrina Roberts, Katherine Whitehead, Allie Clouse and Amy Barger.

Also from Moxley Carmichael, from left, Shaun Fulco, Maria McHale and Lauren Miller.

Tina Knight is a writer with Moxley Carmichael.

Here are two brave guys: Dino Cartwright, left, and Tyler Janow.

And an even braver one! Charlie DeBevoise, left, and Celia Winchester.

Lila Honaker, left, and Judy Akers.

My friend Madge Cleveland said she was “not in the mood for a pretty hat!” (She still looked great, though!)

Margie Nichols Gill.

Jim Richards, executive director of Knoxville Botanical Garden, with Liz Albertson.

Florist John McDonald with Susan Tate.

From left, Hannah Blair, Lisa Sorensen and Vicki Williams-Baumgartner.

From left, Elizabeth Offringa, Elizabeth Grant, Karen Weimann and Kim Cunningham.

From left, Deidre Harper, Katharine Pearson Criss and Alice Allen.

From left, Terri Brawley, Carolyn Leahy and Caroline Cowan.

Carol Merchant, left, and Lisa Carroll.

Haha! Robin Gibson, left, and Malissa Scruggs Cunningham cracked us all up!

Three generations: from left, Jamie Brennan, Meghan Wilson, Kathy Brennan and, seated, Kaelin Crisp.

Lunch was a fabulous Mediterranean-style chicken breast filled with feta, spinach and artichoke hearts and red pepper-garlic vinaigrette on a bed of orzo salad with roasted cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, pine nuts and basil. Wow!

Lemon custard tart with fresh blueberries.

Laura Cole.

Jan Crawford wore a hat that was featured on a cover of Vogue back in the day. It belonged to her mother who wore it in 1965 when she was photographed for a New York Times feature on the best-dressed women in New York!

From left, Amy Cross, Susan Deitz and Donna Curry.

One of the pretty centerpieces. This one was from John John Floral.

Gay Lyons and Jenny Bushkell, from left, recognize Jackie Wilson with gifts of a Patricia Nash purse and a huge bottle of French champagne! Wilson is founding chair of Hats in Bloom.


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13 Responses to Laughs and lovely hats launch spring

  1. sara hedstrom pinnell, on April 11th, 2022 at 2:39 pm said:

    The flamingo hats get my vote!!!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on April 11th, 2022 at 2:41 pm said:

    Sara: They were awesome!

  3. Wayne Christensen, on April 11th, 2022 at 3:16 pm said:

    Flamingos rock! And what did Cynthia Moxley’s hat look like?

  4. Laura Seery Cole, on April 11th, 2022 at 3:16 pm said:

    This is one of my favorite events to look forward to each spring. The sea of hats is breathtaking!

  5. Cynthia Moxley, on April 11th, 2022 at 3:30 pm said:

    Wayne: Hats look terrible on me! I wore a tiny little barrette with a rose on it and told everyone, “This is as close to a hat as I’m going to get!”

    Laura: I agree. It is a fun, fun party!

  6. Allyn Schwartz, on April 11th, 2022 at 4:11 pm said:

    Wonderful reporting, Cynthia! This is truly one of the best events of the year! So glad for it to be back on the calendar! As always, it was great to see so many smiling faces! The mood of the room was brilliant!

  7. Cynthia Moxley, on April 11th, 2022 at 4:13 pm said:

    Allyn: Thanks! It was a blast! So glad it’s back!

  8. Rusha Sams, on April 11th, 2022 at 4:22 pm said:

    This event is even better than the last time we had it! Thanks for showing us all some mighty fancy chapeaux!

  9. Shaun Fulco, on April 11th, 2022 at 4:22 pm said:

    One of my favorite events of the year! So thankful to Moxley Carmichael for the annual sponsorship to bring the ladies of MoxCar to this event. It was a blast!

  10. Kathy Brennan, on April 11th, 2022 at 9:24 pm said:

    I was so happy to share this event this year with my daughters and granddaughter I have looked forward to this event every year to share with my friends and now my family it was great, everyone was thrilled to finally be out and about and to be a little fancy. Welcome back Hats and Blooms!!! And thank you Cynthia for documenting this fun event!

  11. Cynthia Moxley, on April 11th, 2022 at 9:52 pm said:

    Rusha: I agree! Better than ever!

    Shaun: It was great for the team! Let’s plan to do it every year!

    Kathy: So fun to meet your precious family!

  12. Mimi Turner, on April 14th, 2022 at 7:27 am said:

    Hats off to you Cynthia for your excellent reportage! It is an essential part of this event celebrating all who participated and inspiring all who didn’t to start planning their hats for next year’s Hats In Bloom! And, hats off to its creator Jackie Wilson & it’s beneficiary Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum!

  13. Cynthia Moxley, on April 14th, 2022 at 7:35 am said:

    Mimi: Thanks so much. What a fun and unique event! It was so special to see you there with your mother!

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