Taste buds delight at annual A taste of Clarkesville event

Savory and sweet aromas wafted through the air Saturday afternoon as the eighth annual A taste of Clarkesville kicked into high gear on the downtown square.
An estimated several thousand people turned out on the unusually cool day, giving patrons a chance to focus more on the tastes available than heat seen in past years.
Sherry Callahan, taste committee chairwoman, told The Northeast Georgian the long-awaited event drew the participation of 20 food and beverage vendors, with an additional nine vendors offering food- and beverage-related products and information.
“It was, again, a quintessential fall afternoon on the square,” Callahan said. “Lots of visitors and community residents enjoying the sun, conversation and laughter, great food and the opportunity to explore the quaint shops in Clarkesville.”
Callahan said she was very pleased with the day’s turnout.
“I was very pleased with every aspect of the event – from the mechanics to the level of participation to the level of support from every member of CBCA (Clarkesville Business & Community Association) to the enthusiasm exhibited by the nearly 150 volunteers involved in bringing this event to the square.”
Callahan said, if the lines were any indication, among the most popular vendors were The Attic Restaurant, The Cooper Pot, Your Pie and The Orchard Golf & Country Club, which offered sumptuous samplings from hearth-baked pizza pies to saucy pulled pork sliders.
While a People’s Choice winner has always been named in the past, Callahan said the award was discontinued for the 2017 event.
“A taste of Clarkesville is the result of months of work by a committee appointed by the Clarkesville Business & Community Association each year,” she said. “This committee carefully considered the merits of the People’s Choice Awards and multiple requests from veteran food vendors that it be discontinued and determined that the 2017 event would not include this feature.”
However, from the looks of it, the change didn’t affect the level of enthusiasm shown by tasters and vendors.
“From the Main Street and downtown development perspective, events like this provide a nice economic boost to our downtown businesses,” Clarkesville Main Street Manager Mary Beth Horton told The Northeast Georgian. “The taste drew a tremendous amount of foot traffic in downtown from all over the region, bringing additional revenue to many of these establishments. Plus, the exposure that the taste provides leads to repeat visitors and more spending in downtown. I was delighted with the success of the event.”
Callahan said although the city of Clarkesville provides other events that draw crowds by the thousands annually, such as the annual Mountain Laurel Festival and A Downtown Clarkesville Christmas, the three main events have such unique features that it would be difficult to compare them to one another.
“Each reaches a slightly different audience and allows us to ‘show off’ different attributes of our city,” she said. “A taste of Clarkesville highlights our great eateries and actively encourages the exploration of the unique businesses that populate the historic downtown district. It normally draws between 3,000 [and] 4,000 patrons.”
See more photos, Page 7A.
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