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Food fest


Fill up on tasty treats at Taste



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September 21, 2011 - This year's Taste of Clarkston will be filled to capacity with mouth-watering entrees, desserts, and beverages.

"We have 36 restaurants signed up that's about the highest we've ever had," said Penny Shanks, executive director for Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce. "The weather looks like it will be fantastic. We're really excited."

Downtown M-15 will be blocked to traffic to become a huge open-air buffet, 12-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25.

Tickets will be sold in $1 increments. Drinks are 1-2 tickets, most entrees and desserts for 3-4, with some larger entrees going for 10 tickets.

New restaurants this year include Buckshots, Dairy Queen, Red Knapps Bar & Grill, Toby Keith's I Love this Bar & Grill, and Pizzeria Dolce.

Also new this year is a wine-tasting tent sponsored by Clarkston Rotary Club in the Clarkston News parking lot, 5 S. Main Street, as well as an Oktoberfest Beer Tent at the Clarkston Union.

"It adds such a fantastic layer to the Taste," Shanks said. "With the wine tasting, a stage for live entertainment, and one of the Kid Zones, the Clarkston News parking lot will be a hot spot."

Free, local entertainment performs on two stages. The second stage has a new location this year, moved from Main Street at Waldon to Church Street just east of Main.

"People would come up to the detour sign on Waldon and would see the back of the stage and not know what was going on," Shanks said. "Now, they'll totally see it. They'll have the best view."

A new banner gateway is also set for Main Street at Waldon, she said.

Going Green is another new initiative restaurants recognized for using packaging and materials all recyclable and/or made of recycled materials.

So far, Biggby Coffee, Clarkston Union, Union Woodshop, and Essence on Main have committed to going green.

"Hopefully there's be more next year," Shanks said.

Free shuttles will be available from school parking lots on Waldon Road, and Clarkston High School on Flemings Lake Road. Shuttle stops now include Main and Waldon roads.

Many of the new ideas are a result of collaboration between the Taste organizers the chamber, Independence Township Parks and Recreation, and City of the Village of Clarkstonm with local groups including Clarkston Rotary and Downtown Retailers Group.

"They provided lots of new perspectives and ideas," Shanks said.

Volunteer opportunities are still available for table service, Kids Zone, and entertainment stages. Call 248-625-8055 or check www.clarkston.org.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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