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Clarkesville adds to menu for its Taste festival
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A Taste of Clarkesville

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24

Where: Downtown Clarkesville

How much: $1 per food and wine ticket

For the second annual A Taste of Clarkesville, organizers have come up with an event that's bigger and better than last year's.

The event in downtown Clarkesville is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. It is hosted by the Clarkesville Business and Community Association, the city of Clarkesville and the Clarkesville Better Hometown program.

"Last year's inaugural Taste surpassed expectations and this year things have really grown," said Mary Beth Horton, Clarkesville Better Hometown manager.

"This year, we have 30 different vendors setting up on the square. We have extended the hours and added a beer garden."

Although some new features have been added, organizers haven't completely changed the format.

"The event started as an effort to showcase some of the culinary talent in Clarkesville and the surrounding areas. We wanted to make it a food and wine event, so we brought in the local wineries since north Georgia is known as wine country," Horton said.

"We offered live entertainment and set a date for a Saturday afternoon in the fall. No one knew what to expect, but the restaurants saw an increase in business after last year's event."

Attendees can purchase food and drink sampling tickets for $1 or purchase a "grazing pass" for $25. A souvenir wine glass with 12 wine tickets is $10. A full glass of wine is five tickets.

"All of the restaurants offer samplings from their menu. For the people who are visiting Clarkesville, but don't know where to eat, this is a great opportunity to experience all we have to offer," Horton said.

"You can experience the local cuisine and the friendly atmosphere of the downtown businesses and restaurants. The Taste of Clarkesville doesn't mean just food. It's an opportunity to taste the uniqueness of our area."

If folks are concerned about overindulging in Clarkesville delicacies, they can work up an appetite in the Run in the Foothills 5K run-walk. Registration begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at North Georgia Technical College, 1500 Ga. 197 N, Clarkesville.

The race will begin at 8 a.m. and will benefit Foothills Counseling Center, Inc., a nonprofit center providing mental health services to Habersham, White and surrounding counties.