Small taste for a small price
Downtown Milledgeville offers a chance to sample restaurant food, experience art and music
Downtown Milledgeville is set to host a smorgasbord of food vendors for its first official Taste of Milledgeville event, offering residents a bite of the best local dishes for pocket change on Friday, Sept. 7.
In conjunction with this month’s First Friday event, Taste of Milledgeville will feature nearly every downtown eatery, as well as outside vendors like Chick-fil-A and Kai Thai.
“This event is in conjunction with our First Friday event; last year we hosted a similar event, and restaurants were very happy with it,” Carlee Schulte, Milledgeville Main Street director, said. “You could go out to dinner and spend $10, but here you will get 10 tastes.”
After months of planning and working closely with First Friday committee members, Schulte believes that the official Taste of Milledgeville event will fit in perfectly with the atmosphere of downtown Milledgeville.
At $1 a sampling, patrons will be able to pepper their palate with a variety of dishes from Milledgeville staples like Amici, Metropolis, Buffington’s and more.
“Most downtown restaurants will be participating, with tables set out in front of each restaurant,” Schulte said. “The only exception will be Doodle’s Cupcake Bakery, that will be set up in the parking lot on East Hancock Street.”
Mediterranean hot-spot Metropolis hopes that tasters will enjoy the wide array of foods the restaurant will dish up during the event.
“We’re hoping for a big turnout for Taste of Milledgeville,” Deepak Kumar, Metropolis manager, said. “Metropolis will be offering tastes of our most popular dish, hummus, as well as vegetables and chicken kabobs.”
Although food samples will come at an affordable rate, downtown restaurants will still have the chance to pocket a small profit from this year’s Taste of Milledgeville event, with 75 percent of proceeds returning to Milledgeville Main Street and the remaining 25 percent of proceeds returning to the participating vendors.
“Ticket costs, printing and advertising are all taken into account when planning First Friday events, and we’re hoping to raise money,” Schulte said. “Twenty-five percent of funds will return to the restaurants, unless they opt to donate the money back to Milledgeville Main Street.”
For freshmen and new students unfamiliar with Milledgeville, Taste of Milledgeville will serve as an opportunity to mingle with local vendors and residents to get a feel for the eclectic flavors of the town.
“We encouraged a lot of the outside restaurants to come in because there are a lot of new students in town to give menus and tastes to,” Schulte said.
Junior middle grades education major Tarver Bechtel agrees that Taste of Milledgeville will cultivate a unique, down-home environment for students to experience a sense of community.
“I think the event is a great way to bring people downtown,” Bechtel said. “It’s also a way to welcome freshmen to all that downtown Milledgeville has to offer.”
Schulte is hopeful that the event will serve as an adequate fundraiser for Milledgeville Main Street through satisfying tastes and high ticket sales.
“We’re growing this event slowly, and (ticket sales) is just another way to do that,” Schulte said.
Taste of Milledgeville will run from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in conjunction with September’s regular First Friday event. After eating, patrons can enjoy live music throughout downtown Milledgeville, such as a jam band and acoustic guitar performance.