Taste of New Albany, the New Albany Chamber of Commerce's annual fundraiser, has expanded this year, with 29 restaurants and businesses providing samples for patrons.

Taste of New Albany, the New Albany Chamber of Commerce's annual fundraiser, has expanded this year, with 29 restaurants and businesses providing samples for patrons.

In 2011, the event featured 25 food vendors.

"This is one of those events where you ... get out and see people in the community enjoying what New Albany has to offer," said chef Travis Wolfe of ella, the newest restaurant in New Albany.

Wolfe said he participated in the event while working at the New Albany Country Club and is glad to be back with ella, which stands for "eat local, love art." Ella opened in 2011 on Johnstown Road.

Wolfe could not say what ella will bring this year, but he said, "The last three years I was with the (New Albany) country club choosing and preparing what we would take, we won (Best of the Taste)."

Chamber president Eileen Leuby said the event starts at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, on Market Street, with a cash bar. The tasting begins at 5 p.m. with food vendors set up on Market Street, which will be closed the entire day. At 6 p.m., the Arnett Howard Band will perform.

The cash bar and live music are available to people who do not purchase tickets to the event.

Each year, Leuby said, the Taste of New Albany features new vendors from throughout central Ohio.

Laura's Catering, located in the Stone Ridge Plaza in Gahanna, is participating for the second year. Last year, Laura's Catering won the Best of the Taste award with rosemary lamb and lemon crespelles, which are a type of Italian crepe, and rock shrimp bruschetta.

This year, owner Laura Bradigan said she is considering bringing English cucumbers with Thai beef and peppers stuffed with goat cheese.

"The event itself is very nice," Bradigan said. "They make sure you've got wine and drinks, the tables are nice, there's decor on the tables and there's nice music you can sit on the lawn and listen to."

Tents with vendors are set up on the street, so people can walk from one end to the other tasting different foods and desserts, Bradigan said.

This year's vendors are: AdvoCare, Asian Gourmet and Sushi Bar, Bel Lago Waterfront Dining, Bob Evans Restaurant, Bon Vie Bistro and Bar, Chi Thai Restaurant, Costco, Creekside Banquet catering, ella, Friendship Village of Columbus, Johnson's Ice Cream, the Kroger Co., Laura's Catering, Max and Erma's, Mezze Middle'Terranean Cuisine, Mezzo Italian Kitchen and Wine, Mia Cucina, Mimi's Cafe, the New Albany Country Club, the New Albany Gardens and Care Center, O'Charley's, Raising Cane's, Rooster's, the Rusty Bucket, Sam's Club, the Smoothie King, Starbucks, Sunny Street Cafe and Tessora Liqueur.

The event also features 18 local organizations and businesses that won't distribute food. Leuby said people who get a bingo card stamped by each non-food vendor will be eligible for prizes during the event.

Also new this year is a ballroom dancing exhibit by the Columbus Dance Centre.

Leuby said tickets to the Taste of New Albany are available through the chamber, but are selling quickly. Individual tickets are $35 and tables of 10 are available for $300.

Seating is provided for more than 600 in a tent, and Leuby said the chamber will cut off ticket sales when it has sold 850 tickets. Last year, the chamber sold tickets the day of the event, but Leuby said it might sell out this year.

"We have over half sold now," she said.

For ticket information, visit newalbanychamber.com.

The event raises $16,000 for the chamber and is one of two fundraisers the chamber holds each year.

"This helps us keep our dues affordable for local businesses," Leuby said.