Taste of Downtown, one of Downtown Statesboro’s most popular First Friday events, returns Friday with the most restaurants yet providing appetizers for the annual scavenger hunt of flavors.
It lasts from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., with four musical acts performing live at various locations.
A ticket charge of $5 per person, cash much preferred because no credit card machine is available at the entry tent on the courthouse lawn, gets participants a wristband and a map of places they can find food to sample for no additional charge. Participating restaurants, bakeries and ice cream and coffee shops from all over town provide the goodies. Most of the food purveyors are paired with a downtown shop or business that isn’t actually a restaurant itself.
“I try not to show who is with who because that takes the fun out of the scavenger hunt,” said Downtown Statesboro Development Authority event coordinator Elena McLendon. “It gets them into all of the shops, too. They have to discover who’s paired with who.”
With 31 food stops, “this is the biggest one we’ve had,” she said. Last year there were about 25 stops.
“People need to show up early to buy their tickets because we do not sell tickets in advance,” McLendon said.
Four musical acts
There’s no scavenger hunt for the musical acts, but they will be at different locations so people can experience music on different ends of the central Main Street crossroads. Brandi Harvey will be performing in the decorative alley at the Georgia Southern City Campus on East Main Street. Juliette Muldrew will be on West Main near the former Gee Da’s Table. Gazzie White and Musical Minds will sing and play at the courthouse, and Dillon Bragg will be performing beside American Roofing, where a “block party” is planned.
As of Wednesday, the list of participating restaurants and food vendors included Bruster's Real Ice Cream, Cake & Cool Beanz, Chazito’s Latin Cuisine, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Salad Chick, Cotton Patch Bakery, Daylight Donuts, Deacon Blues BBQ, Eagle Creek Brewing Co., El Sombrero, Honey Too, Insomnia Cookies, Jimmy Johns, KFC, Max’s Firehouse Popcorn, Mellow Mushroom, Moe's Southwestern Grill, Nonna Picci, Orchid Asian, Papa Murphy's, Panera Bread, Pita Pit, Smoothie King, Smoque Pit, Soyumi, Subway, Sugar Magnolia Bakery, Three Tree Coffee Roasters, The Daily Grind, Uncle Shug's Chicken Barn, Vandy's BBQ and Your Pie.
Chazito’s, which will officially open its Statesboro restaurant Saturday, is sending a food truck and Three Tree its “coffee trolley,” also as part of Friday night’s $5 sample deal, McLendon said.