FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2014) – The Junior League of Fort Myers’ 32nd Annual Taste of the Town will host more than 40 restaurants on Sunday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at JetBlue Park located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers.
The Junior League’s Taste of the Town is Southwest Florida’s original “taste” event and one of the largest outdoor food and entertainment festivals drawing nearly 10,000 people each year. The funds from this annual event benefit the JLFM, whose volunteer mission provides thousands of dollars annually in volunteer services and donations to programs supporting women and children in the region. These programs include the Junior League’s national program Kids in the Kitchen to help fight childhood obesity, the ongoing work with at-risk girls in the juvenile justice system, as well as work throughout the community in partnership with many organizations through the League’s Helping Hands program, which provides volunteer woman-power to organizations such as Big Brother Big Sisters, the Abuse Counseling & Treatment Shelter, Early Learning Coalition, the Supporting Independent Young Adults organization and many more.
Last year’s event raised more than $114,000 for these organizations.
“Supporting the community never tasted so good,” said Sasha Warren, 2014-2015 president of JLFM. “Many of our participating restaurants return year after year, and to us, this speaks worlds about our vendors, as this event is so much more than a fundraiser; it’s a win-win for our community. Taste of the Town promotes and supports local businesses and the musical arts, creates resources for community service and brings our community together.”
Limited VIP tickets to the event are now available and are $60 per person or $100 for two tickets. Tickets are limited to the first 100 people and include unlimited access to the air conditioned ARS/Rescue Rooter VIP tent, shade and relaxed seating in the Red Salon & Spa VIP Patio, access to the upstairs VIP Bud Light Beer Garden, complimentary catered food by local restaurants (food provided by Citrola’s Italian Grill & Pizzeria from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and food provided by Florida Urban Organics from 1 to 3 p.m.), two complimentary beer tickets, unlimited water, close proximity to restrooms and VIP parking, a VIP parking pass and access to all areas available to general admission. To purchase VIP tickets, visit www.jlfmtaste.com.
To date, more than 40 restaurants have signed up to participate in the annual Taste of the Town including 1st Street Deli, Bahama Breeze, Ben & Jerry’s, Bice Grand Café, Burger 21, BurgerQue, Cabana’s Beach Bar, Connors Steak & Seafood, Cru, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, El Gaucho Inca, Everglades BBQ, Fathoms Restaurant, Ft. Myers Ale House, Grace & Shelly’s Cupcakes, Hooters, Iguana Mia, India Palace, Kona Ice, Lazy Flamingo, LongHorn Steakhouse, Lucky Mi, Matanzas on the Bay, Marker 92, Artisan Gelato by Norman Love, Origami, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Parrot Key, Pho Vinh Express, Pinchers Crab Shack, Reuben’s Smokehouse & Catering, Rosalia & Ashley Zeppoles, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Stevie Tomato’s Sports Page, Ted’s Montana Grill, Texas Roadhouse, Texas Tony’s BBQ Shack, The Bubble Room, The Melting Pot, The Sandy Hook and The Sandy Parrot.
These participating restaurants had the opportunity to present their dishes in the “Best of Taste” contest with local celebrity judges prior to the main event. The winner for “Best Appetizer” was Lucky Mi at Seminole Indian Casino for its Dynamite Prawns, and the runner up was El Gaucho Inca for its Ceviche dish. “Best Entrée” was presented to Connors Steak & Seafood for its Blue Cheese Butter Fillet with Red Wine Reduction, and the runner up was First Street Deli at Seminole Indian Casino for its Midtown Rachel Sandwich. The winner for “Best Dessert” was Everglades BBQ for its Bacon Bourbon Brownie, and the runner up was Artisan Gelato by Norman Love for its Stracciatella Gelato and No Nut Brownie Sundae. The “Winner’s Circle” Award, an award presented to the dish with the most overall points, was presented to Everglades BBQ for its Bacon Bourbon Brownie, and the “Ladies Who League” Award, an award presented by the women of the Junior League for their favorite dish, was presented to El Gaucho Inca for its Ceviche appetizer.
Live entertainment for the event will include CTO High Voltage, the Ben Allen Band, Model Citisin and Little Eddie & The Fat Fingers. The entertainment will cover genres including country, 90s Rock and today’s hits.
This year’s event sponsors include ARS /Rescue Rooter, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Budweiser, Carter-Pritchett Advertising, Inc., Cat Country 107.1, Century Link, Coastal Beverage Ltd., Coastal Carts, Cocoa-Cola, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Florida Tracks and Trails, Fort Myers Florida Weekly, Gulfshore Life Magazine, Hygea Essentials, Lee Virtual School, Key West Express, Milo’s Iced Tea, NBC-2, Orangetheory Fitness, Red Salon & Spa, RMC Consulting, Santa Luz Luxury Carriage Homes, Seminole Casino Immokalee, The Beat 105.5, The News-Press Media Group, The River 95.3, and Y100 Hit Music Now.
A member of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., the Junior League of Fort Myers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The JLFM is also a granting organization, providing mini-grants to organizations throughout Southwest Florida’s five-county area to programs that create better life outcomes for our area’s youth. JLFM memberships are open to all women aged 21 and older of all races, religions and national origin who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism. For more information about the JLFM League, call 239-277-1197 or visit www.jlfm.org.
For more information about the annual Taste of the Town, visit www.jlfmtaste.com.