NEWBERRY — Get your taste buds ready, because Taste of Newberry will be held May 19 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Friend Building at 901 Friend St.
Originally a Newberry Opera House event, the City of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism was approached a few years ago to take on the event. Taste of Newberry was originally held in June, but was moved back a month to avoid the summer heat.
“We picked the third Friday of May because, other than some school activities happening, we’re usually away from the graduation rush of Newberry College and we’re approaching graduation for public schools. We felt like that was a good time to have a little celebration in the month of May,” said Parks, Recreation and Tourism Event Coordinator Mary Alex Kopp.
Taste of Newberry was also originally held in Memorial Park, but due to a threat of weather was moved into the Friend Building. Kopp said visitors who attended commented throughout the duration of the event that they enjoyed the alternate venue solely because a lot of events held in Newberry are held in the same place.
“This year, our City councilmen and mayor requested that I look into getting used to the Friend Building again and making it our permanent location for Taste of Newberry,” said Kopp. “Based on what other constituents enjoyed about last year’s event, I approached Figaro Hospitality Group and they agreed once again to let us have it there and that it would essentially become the permanent residence of Taste of Newberry for as long as we keep our welcome.”
Kopp said that the plan this year is to have vendors both inside and outside. There are 14 total vendors attending the event this year. Nine of these vendors will be indoors and the other five will be outside.
There will be free parking next door to the Friend Building and also at the Newberry County Public Library. An I.D. station will be at the start of the event. The event is free to attend and I.D. check and over 21 wristbands are also free. Attendees are asked to bring cash to pay each individual vendor for their food.
“We emphasize that it’s free to attend, bring cash to pay the vendor because when the Opera House did it, they did a ticketed system. A ticketed system isn’t really necessary for our purposes of how we run it anymore,” said Kopp.
Some of the vendors participating in this year’s Taste of the Town include The Corner Scoop, The Palms Grill & Bar and The Flying Pie. For a full list of vendors or more information go to www.tasteofnewberry.com.
“One of the reasons this was created was to help promote businesses in the Newberry area. When The City took it on, we expanded that to restaurants in Newberry County,” said Kopp. “Folks who arrive early are encouraged to walk around downtown Newberry. A few of the shops will be open a little later because it’s a Friday evening. So we encourage them to walk up and down Main Street to see what’s going on.”
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.