Get a taste of the North Market at the annual Apron Gala

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

Do you have plans on Saturday, May 16? You do now. Tickets are on sale for the North Market Apron Gala, the historic market's annual fundraiser.

For one night, every North Market merchant will prepare an appetizer, small entree or dessert, competing for guests' vote as top taste for the night. There will also be beer and wine, live music from local reggae group Ark Band, music from DJ Patrick and dancing under the tented outside pavilion area. A live auction will be new this year. And, of course, there will be the gala's annual Aprons on Parade contest (check the top of the blog for pictures from last year's event). Wearing an apron is not mandatory, but it is encouraged.

If the party atmosphere doesn't sway you, here's my final argument: It's a great night to reacquaint yourself with the North Market.

It's no secret the North Market has been influx for the last few years with merchants moving in and out on the regular. Just this year, the Market has seen the addition of Hot Chicken Takeover in the upstairs space, fresh salad concept Little Eater and gourmet doughnut maker Destination Donuts is set to open this month. They're new faces that operate alongside veterans like Curds and Whey, Brezel, Omega Bakery, Bluescreek Farm Meats, Barrel & Bottle, Kitchen Little, Taste of Belgium and Jeni's Ice Creams.

Tickets start at $75 for young professionals ages 21 to 35, and $100 for general admission. VIP tickets, which sold out last year, are $125 and include early admission into the gala (at 6:30 p.m.), free parking, a special lounge, separate bar and reception with market executive director Rick Harrison Wolfe.

All proceeds benefit the North Market Development Authority, the nonprofit organization that runs the market. A portion of your ticket purchase is tax deductible.

The event is Saturday, May 16 from 7 to 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information, visit the North Market's website.