KINGSBURG – All the best in one location. That’s how organizers of the Kingsburg Rotary 16th Annual Taste of the Town describe the upcoming event where local restaurants and wines will be showcased. And this year, homebrewers will offer samples of beers they’ve brewed as well.

Rotary board member Scott Carlson says he’s been involved with the Taste of the Town event ever since its inception.

“We wanted to do it as a fundraiser and it’s turned into a really nice community social event. It really showcases our restaurants here in town.”

Taste of the Town is 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Kingsburg Historical Park. Old Soul Gathering will perform live music. Tickets are $40 and available from Sandra K. Helm at 897-5197, at the Kingsburg Chamber of Commerce office or at the door of the event.

Rotarian Shannon Guss said she likes being able to sample a plate from all the local restaurants in one place.

“It’s also a good time to meet up with people you haven’t seen all year and having the live band will give it a different ambiance this year.”

While the Taste may be at the Historical Park now, it didn’t start out there, Carlson said. At first it took place Downtown on Draper Street with some restaurants bringing in tables if they were located in other areas of town. Wines were served inside only so Taste-goers would hop back and forth between venues.

Aslan Packing played host for a few years but as attendance grew so did the need for more room, Carlson said.

“That made it more of a social event since it was spread out and you could take your wine back to your table. We kind of outgrew that so we went to the Historical Park. It’s a really nice outdoor venue with a very nice ambiance out there,” he said.

Local homebrewers were invited to attend and Carlson expects even more to participate next year.

“I’m sure the quality will be there.”

What Taster-goers can expect is a wide variety of ethnic dishes from Asian to Italian to Mexican to Swedish that reflect the eateries in town.

“I’ve been working with the local restaurants since the first year we did this. They are the hardest-working, positive people around town. I’ve gotten to know each of them and I visit each of their restaurants regularly. I’ve become friends with them over the years and they’re quality people. This is how they give back to their community,” he said.

Restaurateurs taking part are donating their food and time to the event as the Rotarians use the proceeds for a number of civic projects.

“They do it for the same reason as everybody else gives time and money in Kingsburg,” Carlson said of the participants’ motivation, “for the betterment of the community.”

Carlson said that one such notable project was the funding of the mural on the exterior of Los Pepe’s restaurant.

“One hundred percent of the funding for that mural came from Taste of the Town over a period of years,” he said. “We think a project like that helps bring people in to town and, indirectly, gives right back to the restaurants. It helps bring people into town.”

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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