One of Buffalo’s largest summer food festivals - The Taste of Buffalo - plans to return in-person this year.
After a year in which COVID-19 shut down most in-person events, Taste of Buffalo organizers plan to host the event July 10 and 11, operating a slightly smaller festival than they did pre-pandemic in 2019.
Taste of Buffalo 2021 Chair Amber Hartman said this year's plans incorporate virtual ideas developed last year.
“We have some really great interest in our cooking demonstrations, and some of our online Facebook events, we'll be incorporating some of those into the live event," Hartman said. "If you were able to cook along with our chefs last year with an ingredient box, we're looking to put that back into place.”
Food lovers returning to Delaware Avenue and Niagara Square this summer will have to follow state and local COVID-19 health restrictions. Hartman said planners are working with local and state officials.
“If masks are still in place at that time, we're still going to need to be wearing masks," Hartman said. "If we still need to be six feet apart, we're going to incorporate that as part of the design to ensure that as much and wherever possible, people are able to be six feet apart. Whether it be in line or walking through the festival, we'll be looking to make sure that we're following any guidelines that are in place still at that time.”
Like previous years, the event will be ticketed. Hartman said more specifics will be announced in the near future.
The two day food festival is once again sponsored by Tops. Hartman added this announcement gives the public and local restaurants something to look forward to and hope for better days ahead.
"We obviously are going to make sure that we're social distancing and we have hand sanitizer," she said. "But we are imagining an event that looks very similar to what you've seen in the past."