Tickets are available now for a community supper that will raise funds to renovate the historic depot at Depot Park for use as a welcome center for Sanford, as well as offices for the Sanford Tourism Development Authority and Downtown Sanford Inc.

“The city owns the depot, but it needs to be restored and renovated so it can house the new Tourism Development Authority, DSI and a welcome center,” said Joni Martin, who works with Progressive Contracting and is on the Depot Committee which is raising money for the renovation. Martin said the committee expects to need between $750,000 and $800,000 to fund the effort.

An artist’s rendering of the proposed renovations at Depot Park’s depot building.

Martin said the city has pledged $50,000 per year for the next 5 years, and the committee is working on raising the rest. Much of that effort is aimed at large individual donations, but the dinner gives those wishing to make a smaller contribution an opportunity to participate. The historic depot building, which sits at the railroad nexus that eventually gave birth to the city of Sanford, will be renovated in a fashion similar to the nearby buggy factory, with wood ceilings and floors, but also modern touches like a computerized interactive welcoming kiosk.

Diners at the “One Table, One Depot” at 5 p.m. on Oct. 17 will experience a four course meal from several of downtown Sanford’s restaurants. Prior to the dinner, the Depot Committee will dedicate new sculptures at Depot Park honoring the property’s history, and participants will sit at a single table stretching the entire length of the park. After the dinner, diners can walk to the final Downtown Alive! concert of the year, which will feature Durham jazz trumpeter Al Strong.

The menu and participating restaurants haven’t been finalized, but Martin said the dinner is being coordinated by Chef Gregg Hamm of Cafe 121.

Tickets are $50 for adults and $20 for children. Diners will receive wine, and craft beer from local breweries will be available for purchase. To obtain tickets, contact Martin at (919) 356-8312, or DSI Director Kelli Laudate at (919) 931-2855.

Other members of the Depot Committee include Sanford Mayor Chet Mann, City Councilman Byron Buckels, City Councilman Sam Gaskins, City Councilman Jimmy Haire, Kevin Brown, Joe Clancy, Vic Czar, Doug Gay, Buck Harris, Hal Hegwer, Beth Kelly, Kelly Miller, Dargan Moore, Meg Moss, Jimmy Randolph, Don Reuter, Fedd Walker, and Liz Whitmore. For more information about the effort to renovate the depot, visit