The 17th annual Taste of Reynoldsburg-A Touch of Class offers diners a chance to sample signature dishes from area restaurants at palatable prices.
Sponsored by the Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Reynoldsburg is set for 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5, at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center at Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Drive.
Admission is free, with food samples available for $1 to $4.
Linda Smith, from WesBanco, one of the individual sponsors, said visitors may get a different perspective of the event from a tethered ride in a hot air balloon.
"The hot air balloon was a popular ride last year and we will also have a bounce house for the kids from Rule3," she said.
Tom Furlong, from Balloon Masters Inc., will supply the hot air balloon and conduct the tethered rides.
Diners get a chance to taste Texas Roadhouse ribs; brisket from Sunset Grille; chicken fiesta wraps from the Thirsty Turtle and stone-baked pizza from Pompeii Inferno.
Other local restaurants serving food samples include: Tall Timbers Banquet and Catering; Culver's; Chicago Uno Grille; Loving Hut, a vegan restaurant; Tasha's Caramel Corn and Savory Sweets.
Various local businesses and organizations will offer information at the event, including the Reynoldsburg branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library; Reynoldsburg City Schools; the city of Reynoldsburg; Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9473; Fairfield National Bank; Heartland Bank; WesBanco; Triple A and Five Bean Coffee.
WesBanco will pay for the music; Fairfield National is sponsor of the dining tents and Heartland will furnish beverages.
Edward Jones Investments is another sponsor of the event.
Musician Steve Brunton will play classic rock, pop country and oldies on acoustic guitar and the Columbus Division of Police will demonstrate its canine unit
"This is our second year at the senior center," Smith said. "We started the event at Taylor (Road) Elementary School, (then) called the Partners in Progress Business Expo. That evolved to a restaurant tasting event called the Taste of Reynoldsburg."
The goal of the event is to showcase local restaurants, businesses and organizations.
"We always want to emphasize local businesses," Smith said. "This is an affordable, neighborhood event.
"Taste of Reynoldsburg showcases the park and our senior center and makes people aware of local options for various foods that they normally might not experience, such as the vegan restaurant," she said.
Smith called it "basically, a picnic in the park."
"We do encourage everyone to bring lawn chairs or blankets," she said. "We will have vendors inside the senior center and outside in the deck area.
"We have the event rain or shine," Smith said. "We make it work. We've been blessed for many years with good weather."
Mary Hudson, from the Reynoldsburg Visitors and Community Activities Bureau, said she has been involved in the event since the beginning.
"It's really a lot like a small community festival," she said. "The big thing with my job is I am always encouraging people to buy local. That is how our small businesses survive."
She said the event is an important networking opportunity for local businesses and a fundraiser for the chamber, since there is a fee for booth space.
Learn more about the Reynoldsburg Area Chamber of Commerce at reynoldsburgchamber.com.