Prepare your taste buds for some very tasty, scrumptiously delicious treats coming up in April, as the 17th annual Taste of the Beach sweeps the island shore Sunday, April 29, taking place at the beautiful and shady Bay Oaks campus, 2731 Oak St., next to Beach Elementary, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., featuring fabulous food sampling from several local restaurants, as well as an immense Business Expo that will take place inside Bay Oak's gymnasium.
Sample foods from some of the best restaurants in town along Fort Myers Beach while sitting under the umbrella of a shady oak tree. Stroll the grounds of Bay Oaks Recreational Campus while the children enjoy the playground facilities.
Taste of the Beach and Business Expo organizers are currently seeking applications and entrants from restaurants and businesses who are interested in showing their savory skill.
Parrot Key offered last year’s Taste of the Beach guests several tasty tropical treats to sample and vote on. Restaurant applications are currently being accepted to enter this year’s 17th annual event, Sunday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Photo by BOB PETCHER.
"We're still hoping to get more than 20 restaurants involved in the event this year," said Stephen DeAngelis, Taste of the Beach chairman. "This year's event is going to be even better than years past. We're going to have amazing entertainment, sponsored by Suncoast Beverage and Budweiser. Back by popular demand, we'll have Cadillac Blue opening the show, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. that day. And, from 4 to 6 p.m., Supernatural the ultimate Santana tribute band from the Tampa/St. Pete area."
Don't forget to bring your appetites, as restaurants can enter up to three items to be judged for individual categories, like Best Entree, Best Appetizer, Best BBQ, Best Seafood, Best Shrimp, Best Dessert and others.
"Expect the area's finest restaurants, showcasing the best they have to offer," Stephen said. "It's a family-fun, family-friendly setting."
The Waiter/Waitress competition, this year sponsored by Brothers Liquor and Barefoot Wine, always brings plenty of onlookers, who enjoy watching the talented wait staff bounce between tires and trek up and down an obstacle course of stairs and cones, all while loaded up with a full tray of drinks and platewear.
And, along with great entertainment and great food, there will be great businesses showcasing their talents and products during the Business Expo part of the event. Applications are currently being accepted for a table at the expo.
"The Business Expo is another great part of the event, located inside the air-conditioned Bay Oaks gymnasium," Stephen said. "Those interested in showcasing their business in this year's business expo should contact the chamber office, 454-7500."
Business vendors will be hosting many individual raffles throughout the day, and guests of the event should look forward to some 50/50s, as well.
Tickets to the all-day event are $5 per person, and children 12 and under are free.
The fee to compete in the restaurant competitions is $250. Anyone needing an application can contact chairman Stephen De Angelis at 822-1369. To participate in the Business Expo, contact Terry Luster, chairman of the event, or call the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce, 454-7500.
Gates to the event will be open from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Business Expo hours will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Food and beverage tickets will be available for $1 each.
"It's a really fun event for all the restaurants, giving the restaurant and hospitality workers an opportunity to get together after a great season to catch up and have a fun and friendly competition," Stephen concluded.