• Any restaurant owner interested in participating in the 2013 Taste of Forsyth Along the Hospitality Highway should contact Peter Jezerinac at (770) 423-1330 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15.
• The event is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 30 at the Cumming Fairgrounds covered arena. Admission is free, but food samples range in price from $1 to $4.
Taste of Forsyth Along the Hospitality Highway will return to the Cumming Fairgrounds on March 30.
The city of Cumming adopted the food sampling event in 2011 after it been put on hiatus for a few years.
Prior to that, the gathering had been a fundraiser for Family Haven, Forsyth’s domestic violence shelter.
Bill Watson, one of the event organizers, said restaurants and other food vendors are sought for the 2013 festival, which will also feature live music and children’s activities such as Easter egg hunts, puppet shows and inflatables.
“The more local restaurants we can get, the more we can offer to the public,” he said. “We just expect it to be bigger and better, and the more the merrier, really.”
Last year’s Taste of Forsyth drew about 25 vendors, Watson said. “It’s a taste event, so everything’s $1 to $4 … it’s great for the public, because who doesn’t like to eat, right? For a little bit of money, you can really taste a lot.
“Then for the restaurants it’s great because what’s better than putting the food in their mouths.”
Watson said the Forsyth festival is somewhat different from other tasting events in that vendors can potentially make some money.
“For the restaurants, it’s a $400 flat fee and then they just keep whatever they make,” he said. “They can actually … generate some revenue off of this too, so it works well.”
The festival can also lead to bragging rights.
“We also have the competition,” he said. “You can be best appetizer, best entrée or best dessert. And those who win, we give them a nice plaque and they can display that in their restaurant proudly.”
Watson said he and other organizers are looking for restaurants from a variety of cuisines.
Last year’s lineup included items ranging from tacos and barbecue to Greek gyros and cupcakes.
Watson said there is a “soft deadline” of March 15 for restaurants to sign up, but if space allows they could potentially get in as late as “a week before.”
He said the event also aims to help local restaurants grow their businesses.
“You can’t drag [customers] off their streets into your restaurant,” he said. “But [at Taste of Forsyth] you can actually put little morsels in their mouths and hopefully get customers for life."