Taste of Buffalo Presented by TOPS Announces 2010 Festival Dates
Mac Hartman, the 2010 Taste Chairman, offered a rundown of what people can expect at the 27th annual festival, including the entertainment and cooking stage schedules and new restaurants. The 2010 Taste will include 56 restaurants from across Western New York.
"In our 27 year history, we have grown from a small food festival tucked into one downtown Buffalo alleyway to an event that is now one of the largest food festivals in the country," said Hartman. "We are expecting 450,000 visitors this year. The impact from the Taste is felt through-out the region. Downtown hotels are booked solid, vendors are busily working to fill orders for our restaurants. We are less than a month away and the Taste is a beehive of activity."
Frank Curci, president and CEO, TOPS, awarded this year's poster contest winner, Haylee Wasson, a sophomore at Clarence Senior High School, with a $500 check matched by a $500 check from the Taste for the school's art department.
"Tops Friendly Markets is proud to sponsor the Taste of Buffalo presented by TOPS. We have pledged to support local endeavors and provide long-standing support in the areas we serve including The Taste, which continues to play a major role as the region's signature event," said Curci. "As Western New York's local grocer, we're very happy to be able to help celebrate the culture, traditions and of course the diverse cuisine that makes Buffalo great."
The contest's first runner-up was Felicia Drozdowski, a student at Harkness Career & Technical Center, and the second runner-up was Nhan Bui, a junior from Cheektowaga High School. The Taste received 106 entries for this year's contest from schools across Western New York.
While the Taste is celebrating 27 years, the Boy Scouts of America happen to be celebrating 100 years! And the group's Adventure Base 100 will make its first New York State stop at the Taste, where guests can enjoy a multi-sensory experience that will offer the sights, smells and sounds of Scouting via the campus IMAX-like video "Go! Dome".
Former Boy Scout County Executive Collins made a special announcement about festival sponsor AT&T's Boy Scouts Appreciation promotion. Boy Scouts 21 and under are invited to wear their scout uniform or show their scout ID card and receive $1 in FREE Taste food tickets at the AT& T inside Adventure Base 100.
"It's great to see the Boy Scouts at the Taste to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of a worthy organization that has produced so many fine leaders like former President Gerald Ford," Collins said.
Mayor Brown said, "The impact the Taste of Buffalo, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, has on downtown Buffalo and the region is huge and can not be under-estimated."
Restaurants participating in their first Taste include: Buffalo Roadhouse Grill,
Encore Restaurantt, Isabella's Italian Deli, The Melting Pot, Papaya, Saigon Café, Sakura Sushi, WJ Morrisseys, and Mazzariello's.
Be sure to visit the TOPS tent at Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square to enjoy their delicious All Natural, premium Grilled Chicken Breast, Antibiotic Free, over fresh greens. And back by popular demand, their signature Strawberry Shortcake. Spin the TOPS wheel for a chance to win great prizes each day! All donation proceeds will benefit Meals on Wheels.
Also, stop by the TOPS Pharmacy tent inside Niagara Square - meet and speak with TOPS Pharmacists and pick up free product samples from Gold Bond, Pantene, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer Health Care, Mentholatum and Balance Bar while they last.
Back by popular demand from Welland, Ontario is a Mobile Culinary Theatre, presented by the Niagara Food Festival. The 25 foot long mobile unit is a fully functional demonstration kitchen, where local chefs showcase their culinary skills and you can see. Buffalo's own "Iron Chefs", Nickel City Chefs. Enjoy demonstrations from regional food artisans and chefs from fine dining restaurants as well as personal caterers. It's equipped with up-to-date appliances, video camera and large-screen TVs and a PA system. It's new location is in the front New Era parking lot.
Zantac® is teaming up with the Travel Channel for their "Beat the Heat" tour, and chose the Taste as the tour's only New York State stop! Inside, the tour's interactive exhibit, attendees will be able to virtually meet Adam Richman, star of Travel Channel's "Man v. Food", by standing in front of a green screen environment for a customized photo with the star, along with a plate of heartburn-inducing food.
Participants will then step into the Zantac Cool Zone, a retreat that will relax and entertain them with cool mist fans and "Man v. Food" episodes available for their viewing pleasure. Zantac team members will distribute coupons, product samples and other giveaways to attendees. Visitors will also have a chance to win the "Beat the Heat" Sweepstakes where one lucky winner will win a 7-day/6-night trip for two to their choice of two destinations previously featured on "Man v. Food", including exciting destinations such as New York City and San Francisco.
Lunchables is back for a second year, but this time with the all new Project Potential. Visit them and receive a free Lunchables sample, pick an orange from Groovy Grove, climb Grumble Mountain and more!
Parents - look out, the 2009 Toy of the Year will make a special appearance! Watch your favorite Zhu Zhu Pets and the new Kung Zhu hamsters scurry across America! The Zhu-niverse Tour welcomes all fans to come live for a day like the Zhu's. Run through the Zhu Zhu Pets life-size habitrail like Mr. Squiggles, or through the ninja and special forces training grounds like Drayko and Sgt. Serge to test the ultimate question: WHICH ZHU ARE YOU? Come check out this one-of-a-kind where there will be something incredible for everyone in the family.
After you've made your way through the Taste, sample one of four new, delicious non-alcoholic coffee creamers from Bailey's Coffee Creamers.
Other Taste sponsors include: Ford Drive One, Coca-Cola, Hershey's S'Mores, Labatt, Scinta's Sauce, Independent Health Foundation, Regal Entertainment Group, Fairgrounds Gaming & Raceway, New Era, Buffalo Bisons, Gold Bond, Pantene, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer Health Care, Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce and Mentholatum.
At the end of the festival, the Taste will award $5,000 in scholarships to high school seniors continuing their education in the culinary or hospitality industries. In recent years, the Taste and supporting sponsors have made more than $30,000 in scholarship allocations to area high school students.
In addition, the Taste has a history of giving back to the community and money raised is contributed to local charities. The Taste is a not-for-profit corporation, and over the years has given funds to numerous charities including: Compass House, Hospice, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Meals on Wheels of Western New York, National Kidney Foundation, and many more. In recent years, more than $250,000 has been raised for local charities at the festival.
Festival hours are Saturday, July 10 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sunday, July 11 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. An estimated 450,000 people are expected to attend. There is no admission fee, and over 200 culinary specialties are served. Ticketed menu items range from $1.00 to $4.00 and tickets are purchase in $5 increments. Presale food ticket vouchers are on sale at tickets.com locations inside TOPS beginning June 13, 2010, and Mastercard® and Visa® are accepted at the event. For more information, visit www.tasteofbuffalo.com.