Organizers are currently putting the finishing touches on this year’s incarnation of the fifth annual event, scheduled for Sept. 15. Bigger is better — a record 21 participating restaurants will be on hand — appears to be their mantra.
“The Taste of Chamblee committee has been working very hard over the past few months to make sure that this year’s Taste has a solid representation of the variety of restaurants in the area,” said Sarah Buckley, of the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation. “We expect this year’s event to be the biggest yet.”
Event proceeds will benefit the Lighthouse Foundation, which provides or facilitates vision and hearing services for thousands of uninsured and low-income Georgians. The nonprofit moved its headquarters to Chamblee more than a year ago.
“The best part about being the beneficiaries of the festival is that Chamblee residents and attendees can feel good about supporting their community and a good cause at the same time,” Buckley said. “Twenty-five dollars worth of tickets purchased at the event — enough to spend one ticket per restaurant — is enough to provide a client with a pair of prescription eyewear. It’s easy to see that the donations received from this event will have a very marked impact on the number of people we can help.”
Event attendees are asked to do their part by selecting what area eateries have to offer.
The culinary competition, scheduled to run from noon to 6 p.m., is the centerpiece of the event. Participating restaurateurs will set up shop in the streets, serving samples of their signature dishes. Attendees will trade tickets for tastes and will be given the chance to vote for their favorite appetizer, entrée, dessert and overall menu.
Organizers have also taken the liberty of adding a second attraction stage to bolster the live entertainment lineup. The main stage, just as in years past, will feature the stylings of local musicians throughout the day. The community stage, to be located near the Frosty Caboose, will feature younger homegrown acts such as dancers, singers. A “Kid Zone” for hosting children’s activities will also be set up.
“The Taste of Chamblee is a great [day-long] environment,” said Buckley. “The streets are filled with tents and people and everyone has a great time.”