First Taste of Canal scheduled for Aug. 23

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Organizers hope the first Taste of Canal event Aug. 23 will attract visitors who might not know much about Canal Winchester.

Chairman Andy Larned said Taste of Canal will feature food from 15 Canal Winchester restaurants and entertainment of all sorts.

"It's been a pretty good reception so far," he added. "I didn't even know we had 15 restaurants in town."

The event will take place from 2-6 p.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot, 6647 Winchester Blvd.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12.

Similar to the themes at other "taste" events, participants will get to sample food from all 15 vendors at no charge, except the admission fee, Larned said.

Village development director Chris Strayer can name a number of midsummer festivals in the central Ohio area, including but not limited to the Dublin Irish Festival, the Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival and the Lithopolis Honeyfest. He and Larned said they hope Taste of Canal will emulate these festivals and become an annual event.

"It's hard for us to market to the outside, bigger region," Strayer said. "We want to attract the people that don't even know we exist down here."

Entertainment at Taste of Canal will be provided by the Winchester Steel Company, Canal Winchester High School's steel drum band. In addition, local gymnastics group Gym X Treme and Crossover with Cabot Rea from NBC4 will perform.

Home Depot and Columbus Public Libraries will host a Kids Corner, as well, Larned said.

Del Mar's Baja Mexican restaurant is the feature sponsor for Taste of Canal. Other participating restaurants include, Harvest Moon Coffee House, Shade on the Canal, Altercare Dieticians, Butch's Italian Cafe, Kingy's Pizza, Pal's Pizza, O'Charley's, Super Suppers and Cool Cravings.

Organizing has been done by members of the Gender Road Business Alliance, an arm of the Canal Winchester Chamber of Commerce, Larned said.

Restaurant vendors might hand out small portions of different menu items or full meals, he said.

"There are no real guidelines," he added. "We like that; it's kind of fun."

Because it's the first year for the event, Strayer and Larned said they have no expectations, but would like to see it grow in coming years.

"We have to approach this as its first year," Strayer said. "We just want people to come to Canal Winchester."

Larned was a bit more specific: "We'd like to see more Gender Road folks come to the downtown," he said. "All they've got to do is make a left turn."

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