Taste of Conyers seeks vendors for food festival

CONYERS -- Organizers are looking to beef up the list of local restaurants set to participate in this year's Taste of Conyers, a local staple that features an array of food samplings from various restaurants in Conyers.

The annual downtown food festival draws locals and out-of-towners, attracting as many as 4,000 folks in years past. This year's event is slated for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, along Commercial Street and possibly Center Street if more space is needed. The streets will be closed to traffic in order to make room for event-goers to peruse the different food vendors. Attendees typically purchase tickets for $1 from a booth at a central location and trade in their tickets for food at different food booths. Food items will not cost more than four tickets at each restaurant's booth.

The event also includes entertainment, food contests and children's food-related activities, like cookie decorating, said Conyers spokeswoman Jennifer Edwards.

The Downtown Development Authority discussed planning updates during its meeting Tuesday evening and Main Street Manager Monica Coffin and authority board member Ashley Frey told the board the event's organizers are trying to get more restaurants to commit to participating before today's registration deadline.

There had been some concern that busy restaurant schedules and staffing shortages at the eateries may prevent some businesses from participating.

Based on discussion Tuesday, organizers said they hope to line up at least 25 participating restaurants for this year's Taste of Conyers. Coffin said as of Tuesday that significantly fewer restaurants have confirmed their attendance at the event.

"I definitely don't want to cause a panic with that, but we always just, unfortunately, have to be prepared for anything," Coffin told the authority.

Last year's Taste of Conyers was called off after organizers felt forced to cancel the event because not enough vendors signed up.

Frey said organizers are planning to debut a few new features as add-ons to the annual food sampling event, including a Conyers Idol, where local singers can compete.

The deadline for vendor registration is today. Restaurants are asked to submit an application. There is no cost to participate in the event. For more information, call Monica Coffin, Main Street manager, at 770-929-4239 or 770-602-2606.

The Main Street Program promotions committee, made up of Main Street volunteers and Olde Town merchants, is organizing the event.