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September 28th, 2009 by Terry Miller
The annual Taste of Arcadia held last Monday September 21, saw about 1200 people take advantage of the offerings from over 35 restaurants, breweries, wineries and a martini bar.
The event benefits the Lucky Baldwin Boy Scouts and The Arboretum Foundation this year and the Lions Club also donated money to the two local groups.
The live music & dancing not to mention the ever-popular Brazilian Dancers were some of the many highlights of the premier event.
This fund raiser was born some 35 years ago, and has now grown to become Arcadia’s signature event: Taste of Arcadia, held on a Monday evening late in September prior to the opening of the Oak Tree Meet at Santa Anita Park.
Taste of Arcadia began as a yearly modest cocktail & appetizer evening, with a few hundred guests attending, held at various venues, including backyards, and had a variety of titles over the last three and a half decades.
Also known as the “Wineshed Mixer”, it was held in the infield of Santa Anita Park and raised money to build the Arcadia float for the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day. When interest in a float faded, interest in a community event did not, and the event was reborn.
To bring you up to date, under the able guidance of Chamber member Bob Kenz, local Robeks Juice owner, Taste of Arcadia has emerged as a true destination event, relocating in September of 2000 to the LA County Arboretum.
Exploding to 1200 guests, not only do those attending eat, drink, dance, and are entertained under the stars, part of their ticket price is designated to 2 local non-profit organizations….this year, the Lucky Baldwin District of the Boy Scouts of America and the Arboretum Foundation.
Piggy-backing onto these donations for the last several years is Arcadia Host Lions Club, who also presents a check to the beneficiaries.
Chamber member Verena Somer, the Service Advisors, stepped up as Taste of Arcadia Chair for 2009. Along with Bob and other hardworking Chamber member volunteers, this year is sure to be a resounding success.
Breeders’ Cup, Santa Anita Park and Oak Tree Racing Association are again major sponsors of Taste of Arcadia for the second consecutive year and we appreciate their generous contribution.
One of the more popular restaurant samplings appeared to be coming from that of the Race Track’s Frontrunner and Sirona’s…the lines were consistently longer than most.
This reporter found the Bayhawk Ales tent well worth a return trip for their fine porter. The beer reminded me of many British lighter stouts.
Other popular venues were Pino’s Place and Nikki C’s.
Most of the booths got top marks for not only their food but also for their presentation(s).
The Arcadia Chamber of Commerce puts on the “Taste of Arcadia” each year which is always a sellout.
Thanks to the Chamber staff’s efforts of planning which takes several months, over 1,200 attendees from Arcadia and surrounding communities get to sample a variety of food and delicious beverages while enjoying a spectacular evening at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.