The 2012 Taste of Union festivities will take place at the Union County Agricultural Center in Monroe this year, instead of the event’s usual home at First Presbyterian Church in downtown.
In its fourth year, Taste of Union is a food-tasting event where patrons can try samples of food from all over the county. It also will include a silent auction, raffle prizes and live music.
Representative for Taste of Union, Linda Hastings, said many restaurants and caterers have registered to participate so far, including Bibi – A Beautiful Taste, Bonfire Bar & Grill, Brusters Ice Cream, Byrds Soul Food, Chili’s, Courthouse Cupcakes, Crossroads Grill, Hathaways Fried Chicken, Jo’s Jo’s BBQ, Just Chillin’ Frozen Yogurt, La Vida Mocha, Logans, Michael Angelo’s Pizza House, Old School Mills Fresh House, Olive Garden, Pizza Palace, Southern Foods at Home, Spiro’s Hilltop, Stegall Smoked Turkey, The Cookie Jar, Sweet Dreams Bakery and Zaxby’s.
“It’s a very festive affair, great fellowship and fun,” Hastings said. “For one ticket price, guests can eat to their heart’s content – no one goes away hungry. Tickets go on sale soon.”
Live music at the event is currently being secured, but so far, Hastings said Xavier Lewis, a pop and R&B singer and 2008 America’s Got Talent semifinalist, will perform. Lewis has won national accolades for his song “Give Back,” co-written by Hosea James Givan II.
Hastings said Taste of Union, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 29, is important to residents of the county.
“It gives residents a wonderful opportunity to fellowship at a community event which highlights all the kinds of restaurants in our community – mom and pops and national chains.”
The restaurants benefit from the event, too, Hastings said.
“The restaurants appreciate the exposure,” she said.
Funds raised at the event will benefit Operation Reach Out.
“Operation Reach Out provides emergency food, clothing, furniture, fuel, special needs and household items to those in crisis situations and offers a daily Bible study and free lunch,” Hastings said.
Operation Reach Out also collects perishable food from grocery stores and produce centers and distributes about 270,000 pounds per year to more than 5,300 families and operates Finders Keepers, a resale shop which funds the program, Hastings said.
“Taste of Union was actually founded by Operation Reach Out,” she said. “Volunteers for the ministry organize it every year. This is our fourth year and it’s always been very successful and well-attended.”
Tickets will be sold for $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information, visit facebook.com/tasteofunion, www.tasteofunion.org or call 980-322-2573.
To participate as a sponsor or restaurant, or to donate an item for the silent auction, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Operation Reach Out at 704-289-4237.
Find more information on Operation Reach Out at the group’s website, www.operationreachout.org.