Nearly 5,000 visitors are expected to sample great tastes from 24 restaurants and enjoy family fun at A Taste of Worthington from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 19.
The annual food-sampling festival, presented by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, will be held in the parking area of OfficeScape Corporate Center, 350 W. Wilson Bridge Road.
The Shops at Worthington Place and WideOpenWest (cable and Internet provider) are major sponsors.
Guests will enjoy more than 50 affordably priced appetizers, entrees and desserts from 24 area restaurants in a festive block-party atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water, draft beers and wines also will be sold.
A popular feature of the event is the "People's Choice" competition for the crowd's favorite foods.
After sampling foods from the participating vendors, guests cast ballots to vote for their favorite appetizers, entrees and desserts. Plaques are awarded to the winning restaurants after the event.
Live music, performed throughout the evening, will include jazz, swing and popular music from the Tommy Wade Orchestra, rock and '50s and '60s favorites by Rendition, and violin music from acclaimed string artist Arkadiy Gips, along with Paul Hartley of Worthington Music.
Other family entertainment includes the Columbus Blue Jackets' Breakaway (miniature hockey game and other hockey-related activities), children's activities by Goddard School, cornhole competitions for children and adults (sponsored Young Professionals of Worthington), a bounce house from Let's Bounce and caricature artist Steve Campbell, sponsored by Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty, LaBuda Advantage Real Estate Team.
Admission is $2 per person; children under 6 are admitted for free. Parking is free in the adjacent lots.
Participating food vendors will include Cameron's American Bistro, Cantina Laredo, Cheryl's, Claudiana Italian Restaurant, Dairy Queen, Friendship Village of Columbus, Graeter's, Greek Express Polaris, J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood, J. Liu Restaurant & Bar, Jet's Pizza, Joe's Crab Shack, La Chatelaine, The Laurels of Norworth and The Laurels of Worthington, Mojo TaGo, Mrs. Goodman's Baking Co., Old Bag of Nails Pub, Pies & Pints, Rivage Atlantique, Sunrise of Worthington and Sunrise Place, Whole Foods Market, Willow Brook Christian Home and The Worthington Inn.
"With the broad variety of menu items, musical styles and family activities and a corps of generous volunteers, this may be our 'tastiest' event to date," said Kathryn Paugh, executive director of the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.
Menu items include popular traditions such as filet mignon from J. Gilbert's, lettuce wraps and spicy chicken from J. Liu, fish and fried pickles from Old Bag of Nails and sweet-tooth favorites from Mrs. Goodman's, Cheryl's and Dairy Queen.
Past winners of the People's Choice Awards who are presenting new menu items include Rivage Atlantique, adding Gullah Shrimp Perlou and Shrimp Ceviche to its lobster roll offering; Cameron's American Bistro, introducing Ponzu Salmon; Claudiana Italian Restaurant, adding Pasticho to its menu of meatballs, lasagna, tiramisu and baklava; and multiple-winner Willow Brook Christian Home, presenting a new dessert, Waffle Cake with apples foster, candied pecans and whipped cream. Newcomers to the event include menu offerings from Whole Foods, Joe's Crab Shack and two new pizza purveyors, Pies & Pints and Jet's Pizza. Most menu items are priced from $1 to $6 per serving.
In addition to The Shops at Worthington Place and WideOpenWest, event supporters include Arkadiy Gips, Ann Baldwin -- independent senior sales director, Mary Kay, B&C Blacktop, city of Worthington, Coach Quarters and Evidia Ltd., Columbus Blue Jackets, Friendship Village of Columbus, Goddard School, Healthy Worthington Resource Center and Food Pantry, Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty, LaBuda Advantage Real Estate Team and Mid-American Mortgage Solutions, Kroger -- Worthington Mall Fresh Fare, Let's Bounce, Outreach Promotional Solutions, Paradigm Properties, PNC -- Worthington banking office, Sam's Club, Sunpics Productions, ThisWeek Community News, Tilton's Automotive Service, Tommy Wade Orchestra and Rendition, Worthington Music and Worthington City Schools.