By Samuel Weisman, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY- Hundreds of visitors were able to sample the flavor of the Port City Sunday afternoon.
A variety of area restaurants and others took part in the 2010 edition of the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerceâ€™s Taste of Oswego, sponsored by Alliance Bank.
The event was located behind the Econo Lodge on East Linear Park. From noon to 6 pm. patrons were able to purchase samples from 15 different restaurants for $1 per item.
Among the various vendors at “The Taste” was the Oswego City School District.
They offered samples of school lunches as well as a full turkey dinner.
Bill Crist, superintendent, and member of the chamber, said, “It’s a great event. There are a number of restaurants here and our school district is too. It’s great exposure for what we have in Oswego. We have some unique restaurants and stores and this gives them a chance to show what they have.”
Karen Huble, owner of the Blue Moon Grill in Fulton, agreed.
“It gives us a lot of exposure, people come up after the event and say this is when they saw us,â€ she said.
She ran the Blue Moon stand with her husband, Bill.
The owner of Cam’s New York Pizzeria, Larry Miller, added, “It’s also a good way to introduce new menu items.”
The Cam’s Pizza stand offered spinach and feta cheese pinwheels to customers.
“A lot of people don’t even know we have these,” Miller said.
Beth Hilton, executive director of the chamber and one of the organizers of the event said, “It’s really a win-win situation for the community and for the businesses. New restaurants have an opportunity to show what they have, and restaurants that have been here a while like Rudy’s and Canale’s get to keep their restaurant in the community’s mind.”
Food aside, there were plenty of activities for kids at this year’s event, including face painting, animal balloons, blow-up bouncy rides, a super-modified race car on display and the bubble man who entertained children with his unique bubble blowing gadgets.
There was also live music provided by Jimmy D and the Jury from noon until 3 p.m., and The Billionaires, who followed and played until 6 p.m.
The feedback from the patrons was positive.
Lynn Morris of Hastings said, “I like that it’s family oriented. It’s on the water and a lot of fun.”
Tom Delahunt of Syracuse also liked the focus on families.
“It’s small and family oriented and the dollar samples were great,” he said.
His wife, Arlene, added, “We were going to stop for dinner on the way home, but not anymore.”
“It’s not just good for business itself, but it’s good for the community,” said Michael Coon, manager of G.S. Steamers.