It's the same Taste of Manatee that we all know and love, but organizers say it should be even bigger this year, and even better.
"We're very excited about our new location," said Mark Sticht. "We'll have more room and more parking."
Sticht is the president of the Rotary Club of West Bradenton, the organization that has run the event for the past decade. Another group ran it many years before that.
For the past two years, the Taste of Manatee had been held on the Bradenton Riverwalk. This year, for financial reasons, the Rotary Club is moving it to Sutton Park in Palmetto.
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The Riverwalk was good to the Taste of Manatee -- estimated attendance doubled the first year, as compared to that at the event's long-time home near the Twin Dolphin Marina. Sticht said Sutton Park has the potential of bringing in even larger crowds.
"We're looking to attract more people from Hillsborough County and Pinellas County," he said.
Despite the new location, there's been no change to the formula that has made the Taste of Manatee so successful. The event is now in its 28th year, and it's gotten more and more popular every year.
"Taste of Manatee is one of the biggest festivals in Manatee County every year," Sticht said. "Restaurants from around Manatee give people a taste of their food, a small portion, that costs maybe $4, $3 or $2."
Participating restaurants this year include Ferraro's Pizza, Big Cow Creamery, Mexicali Border Cafe, The Fresh Market, J&J Barbecue, Bonefish Grill, Riverhouse Reef & Grill, Restaurant Edelweiss, Michael John's Restaurant, Yacht Sea Grille, Cedar Reef Fish Camp, Jersey Mike's Subs, Terra Ceia Bay Sunset Grill, Sugar Cubed and more.
There's also beer and wine, arts and crafts and two full days of music and other entertainment. A children's area will include bounce houses, a climbing wall and the existing playground within Sutton Park, and a "community stage' with entertainment aimed at young people.
The grown-ups can watch college and pro football on wide-screen TVs in a tiki hut.
Here's the music lineup for the main stage;
11 a.m.-noon: MSA Show Choir
Noon -1 p.m.: Dr. Oz (classical guitar)
1-2:30 p.m.: The Wright Band
2:30-4 p.m.: Elephant in the Room
4- 5:30 p.m.: Soul-R-Coaster
5:30-7 p.m.: Couch Music Education students
7-9 p.m.: The Shaman Band
Noon -1:30 p.m.: Trevor Bystrom & the Tribal Trio
1:30-3 p.m.: Rotary Rocks
3:4:30 p.m.: The Western Son
4:30-6 p.m.: Billy Rice band
The emphasis of the festival is firmly on Manatee County, Sticht said. Every restaurant that will offer samples of its food is in Manatee, and the money the festival raises goes back into the community.
"It's a fundraiser for Manatee County charities and nonprofits," Sticht said. "The restaurants all donate a percentage of what they take in to the charities."
Festival-goers buy tickets for $1 each, and use them to buy food from the restaurants. It's cash-only; credit and debit cards are not accepted.
Details: Nov. 1-2, Sutton Park, Sixth Street West, Palmetto. Festival times: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Admission: Free. Information: tasteofmanatee.com.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.