Congratulations on your Accomplishments!
What category did you get the first place in?
You're right about the stigma factor. It's like the haves and the have nots, and most of us don't like being a have not! I can understand the expense factor for you independents. The Town Fathers should allow you to sell some product to offset your costs and make everybody happy.
They could do it if they wanted to with adequate inspections. They do it at other festivals in other parts of the country.
Having lived in "The South" I know that Died in the Wool Southerners are slow to change!
Again, thank you for the gracious invitation!
Since you're from Buffalo, I just made a post today about The Sausage Maker Inc. Company in Buffalo.
Do you get any of your stuff there? http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=691369&high