The sound of the lake mixed with the buzz of the crowd, the smell of food and music coming from the boat house Saturday night at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue during the Taste of Gainesville.
With nearly 450 people expected at Clarks Bridge Park, 16 area restaurants dished out tasty samples in the boat bays below before guests made their way to the tables upstairs. The event raised money for the Lake Lanier Rowing Club Juniors League.
Duane Schlereth, Rowing club president said that due to the wet weather, the change of location went smoothly.
“The buzz sounds great, the food has been excellent, I think everybody is having a good time,” Schlereth said.
The variety of the vendors is always appreciated for people looking for something new.
“I think it is a way that you can sample new restaurants at a fairly low cost without high risk, and find something that you want to try,” Schlereth said.
Heather Jonovitch, representing Skogie’s Lakefront Restaurant and The Coffee Shop at Lawrence Pharmacy, enjoyed her third year as a vendor.
“It’s been awesome this year, even with the weather raining all day long, they moved it inside but the turnout has been awesome,” Jonovitch said.
Throughout the night guests were asked to vote for their favorite restaurant of the evening as they listened to a local musical duo perform.
First-time guest Misti Kay Phillips was impressed at how organized everything was considering the last-minute change in setup.
“It’s neat that they get to see this,” Phillips said, gesturing to the stacked rowboats separating the area.
Originally from Atlanta, she was eager to find some great local restaurants in town.
Having had three children participate in the Rowing club, Rick Young was glad to support the fundraiser.
“I’ve actually tried a lot of new food where I didn’t know the vendors existed. Found about a new coffee shop coming downtown,” Young said. “It’s great to see the community out supporting the team.”