In just two weeks, the Taste of Forsyth will offer a sampling of the county’s various restaurants, as well as a taste of its crafts, businesses and entertainers.
The seventh annual event will be held April 19 at the Cumming Fairgrounds. All proceeds will go to Family Haven, a temporary shelter offering help to women and children who are victims of violence.
Shalon Coffey, executive director of the nonprofit organization, said the Taste of Forsyth is its largest fundraiser.
“It’s a fun event. There’s lots of great food, great people, great things to see,” she said. “It’s a fairly inexpensive event from 12 to 5 p.m. on a Sunday, when most people are looking for something to do.”
About 5,000 people attended last year and Beth Buursema, who is helping organize the event, hopes to better that this year.
David Horton, Cumming Fairgrounds administrator, is a fan of the fundraiser.
“They’ve got an arts and crafts setup, they’ve got a business expo, a silent auction -- so it’s just a great little event,” Horton said. “Anytime you have food, people are going to come out.”
While Horton is busy preparing the site, local restaurants are preparing their menus.
Taco Mac in Cumming is sticking to wings, a fan favorite, covered in barbecue, habanero or lemon pepper sauces.
“That’s our signature dish,” said Russell McLaurin, who is overseeing catering for the event.
McLaurin said he plans to serve about 3,000 wings.
“We did the event last year and it was a blast," he said. "There were tons of people that showed up. It’s a good event for us to get exposure.
“It’s not only helping us at Taco Mac, but it’s kind of our way for us to give back to the community.”
Some of the regular vendors from years past may be absent this year, Buursema said, though many others are stepping in.
“We have so many new people coming on board,” she said. “I see it as in this economy, they want to make sure their names are out there.”
Family Haven plans to use the funding to put the final touches on a new building, slated to be completed in May.
Coffey said the new shelter will house 27 women and children, as opposed to its current building, which houses 18.
In the past year, the organization has provided shelter for nearly 200 women and children, answered nearly 2,100 hotline calls and made nearly 3,600 referrals to other similar agencies.