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Taste of Suwanee to feature local performers

SUWANEE -- If the nearly 40 restaurant vendors aren't the reason to draw 9,000 or more people to this year's Taste of Suwanee, then organizers hope it's the entertainment.

The annual event at Town Center Park, put on as a benefit for the North Gwinnett basketball booster club, is scheduled for noon on Saturday. More than 30 restaurants and vendors are scheduled to participate, as attendees sample appetizers, entrees and desserts. The event will also air college football games, have a kids zone with inflatables, rides, games and live music.

Admission is free, but food and activities in the kids zone are available through a ticket purchase. The average ticket costs 50 cents. There will also be an arts and crafts market. Parking is available at Town Center Park and Shadowbrook Baptist Church.

"What I'm really excited are the performers, local boys who just signed a contract," said Jessica Karlan, who helps organize the event among a group of community volunteers.

Those performers will include a group called "Who's Dave," "Righteous" and the North Gwinnett drum line.

Karlan said organizers have cut back on marketing because the event has become so well-known that people ask about it around Suwanee Day because they know where it is on the calendar.

Other than a silent auction that is no longer part of the event, the event is largely the same as when it began.

"What people are going to notice, the vendors are consistently the same," Karlan said. "Restaurants come and go, and for the most part, restaurants in Suwanee have held their ground."

While Karlan maintains that weather is the No. 1 key to a successful event, she also said it provides entertainment for the entire family.

"It's easy, no pressure, you can come and eat all day and be entertained," Karlan said. "It's a taste. For them to introduce their restaurant and raise money for the (basketball) program, have entertainment."