The 15th annual Taste of Upper Arlington, to be held Aug. 12 at Northam Park, will feature a variety of local restaurants and caterers as well as live entertainment and games and rides for children.

The 15th annual Taste of Upper Arlington, to be held Aug. 12 at Northam Park, will feature a variety of local restaurants and caterers as well as live entertainment and games and rides for children.

"We're proud to see the popularity of the event grow each year," said Becky Hajost, president of the Upper Arlington Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the Taste. "It has become one of the premier family-fun events in the city of Upper Arlington and is a great way for local businesses to promote themselves to the community. The event celebrates the diversity and quality of restaurants and businesses right in our own backyard."

Participating vendors this year include local favorites such as Moretti's of Arlington, Old Bag of Nails Pub, the Rusty Bucket Tavern and Caffe DaVinci.

"The Taste of UA is a great community gathering and an opportunity to see local families and sample fare from all the local establishments," said Tine Elsea of Caffe DaVinci.

In addition to restaurants and caterers, the Taste of UA also features information booths from community organizations and businesses of all kinds.

"It's a good cross-section of the community," said Hajost, whose own business, Art and Clay on Main, a Lancaster-based art studio, will have a booth this year.

The 140 booth spaces are nearly filled. The event draws up to 15,000 people to Northam Park each year.

"What began as a small gathering of businesses at Tremont Center has grown into an annual event that literally fills Northam Park," said Colleen Krupp, this year's co-chair and health services marketing director for First Community Village.

The Taste presents an opportunity for food vendors to try out new menu items, as well as opportunities for other types of businesses to network and establish new relationships.

"This event is a terrific opportunity to be involved with the community in a casual and fun atmosphere," said Corrine Walter of Coldwell Banker King Thompson.

"It's not just about reaching new customers, but also about strengthening relationships with existing customers," said Jon Pugh, co-chair and owner of Ship Print eSell.

"It's amazing how many existing customers stop by and say hello while we're reaching out to market our company to folks who have never heard of us," said Charlie Groezinger of SGO Designer Glass. "It's a win-win for all participating businesses, the Chamber and the city of Upper Arlington."

For more information about the Taste of UA, call the chamber at (614) 481-5710 or visit www.uachamber.org.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com