Take a chance on new favorites and old classics at this year’s Taste of Dublin. Hosted by the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the 12th annual Taste returns with a new date Sept. 17 from 6-9 p.m. Dublin residents 21 and older will have the chance to connect with restaurants, caterers and businesses while sampling their best dishes.
“It’s just a great event for the community to get out and support the businesses, as well as the businesses to give back to the community,” says Jennifer Jakse, chief operating officer of the Chamber.
Each year, the event adapts to meet the demands of the community, the businesses and the year-to-year rise in turnout. But this year the event might see its most significant changes yet. For gambling enthusiasts, there will be the addition of non-monetary casino events. There will also be live entertainment throughout, including a piano player.
Also new this year, non-food Chamber members can purchase a table to promote their products or services.
To accommodate the expected 1,500 attendees and 40 vendors, the Taste will be held at the conference center in the “beautiful” Online Computer Library Center, says Margery Amorose, Chamber executive director. New OCLC President and CEO Skip Prichard is the honorary chairman for the event.
“I think it’s growing because people keep telling their friends,” says Sharon Hodges, Chamber communications director.
The event attracts “a wonderful mixture of people” from all over Dublin, Amorose says. And the vendors – including chains such as Buffalo Wild Wings and local favorites such as The Sisters Sweet Shoppe – are just as diverse.
Party Panache, a Dublin-based catering service, has had a table at Taste of Dublin every year since the event’s inception. The reason, says owner Patricia Baker, is the opportunity for promotion.
“It is just a walking buffet,” Baker says. “The best way for me to sell my product is to get my food in people’s mouths.”
Baker doesn’t advertise much to promote her business, so most of its exposure comes from word-of-mouth and events such as the Taste. “There has never been a year when we have not been able to trace new business from this event,” she says.
The catering business changes its samples for each Taste. This year Baker plans to offer alfredo pesto meatballs, a chicken dish and a newer dish that has gotten “rave reviews”: a bacon-wrapped, marinated artichoke heart.
Tickets are on sale now for $25 through Sept. 6, after which they will cost $35. Each includes unlimited food tastings and Pepsi products. The event will have a cash bar. Corporate table packages starting at $1,200 include perks such as a VIP party starting at 5 p.m.
The event raises about $10,000 annually for the Chamber, which goes toward expanding programming. “Our mission is to help promote businesses in Dublin,” Jakse says. “This event is helping do that by helping the businesses gain exposure.”
Baker, a Dublin resident for 31 years, sees a sizable benefit to the community – and to her business – year after year.
“It’s a worthwhile event for everyone at both ends,” Baker says, “both the vendors and the community.”
Visit www.dublinchamber.org for more information.
Eric Lagatta is a contributing writer. Feedback welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org