NEWBERRY – Get ready to explore many dishes that Newberry has to offer next week for the 16th Taste of Newberry event. Held at the Friend Building on Friend Street in Newberry, the event will be May 18 from 5-9 p.m. and feature a variety of foods from throughout Newberry County.
Mary Alex Kopp, tourism and events coordinator for the City of Newberry said that 14 vendors have signed up to participate this year, two of which will be serving alcohol.
While some may consider this a more adult event, Kopp said she considers all City events to be family-friendly, with the Taste of Newberry offering vendors such as The Corner Scoop and Pelican’s Snoballs for kids to enjoy.
“If parents have children who are adventurous eaters, vendors will have some really cool stuff they can check out this year,” Kopp said.
There is no admission to the Taste of Newberry, Kopp said. Patrons will simply pay to purchase what they would like to try from the various vendors. While some vendors may serve free samples, Kopp said she recommends patrons bringing cash for what they wish to purchase.
Adults over 21 years old that plan to partake in alcohol must show their IDs to get a free wristband at the entrance of the event.
“There will be no exceptions,” Kopp said.
Five vendors will be located outside of the event space next week to include Tienda y Resturante Mexicano La San Jose, Two-5 Catering, Carolina Cookin’, the Flying Pie and Pelican’s Snoballs.
Kopp said Tienda y Resturante Mexicano La San Jose will be serving dishes such as traditional style tacos which can include beef, chicken and seasoned pork. The restaurant makes their own corn tortillas and will be preparing those outside on a grill. Dessert options will also be available to patrons.
Two-5 Catering, who many may be remembered from Pork in the Park, will be serving pulled pork with mustard based sauce as well as other favorites.
Also serving barbecue plates is the Carolina Cookin’ food truck. They will also have other unique dishes to include a choice of shrimp, oyster, crawfish or alligator po’ boys or tacos. Grits with various toppings will also be available, Kopp said.
In addition to craft beers and a fresh fruit mimosa bar, the Flying Pie will be serving up Charleston style crab cakes on a bun and brick-oven pizzas.
“I believe you’ll be able to purchase those by the slice,” Kopp said.
Pelican’s Snoballs will also be set up outside of the Friend Building for those brave enough to try the Dill Pickle flavored snowball, Kopp said. However, if you’re not, Kopp said other fan favorites will include Mango, Bahama Mama and Wild Cherry.
Kopp said because vendors will be set up indoors and outdoors, she recommends taking a walk-through of the space before choosing what to try.
“We will have signs up with each vendors name and a description of who they are and what they will be serving,” Kopp said.
If attending the event in a group, Kopp recommends each member of the group trying a different dish and sharing so you get a little of each without getting too full.
The Corner Scoop plans to have pre-scooped ice cream. Kopp said the will be ready to go in flavors to include vanilla, chocolate and strawberry and other favorites.
Serving miniature versions of what they have when you visit in-house, the Silverspoon Tea Room will have freshly baked oatmeal craisin as well as sugar cookies, fruit scones and petite chicken salad sliders. They will be serving sweet tea as well as hot tea.
“We’re really excited to have her back,” Kopp said.
Both the Palms Grill and Bar and Meat/Seafood Market will be set up at Taste of Newberry serving bite-sized samples of various products you can buy in their store and restaurant. Kopp said for those that attended the event last year, she expects them to have a similar setup.
Figaro Market and Restaurant will also be set up with the restaurant serving bite-sized samples and the market to have homemade chicken salad and pimento cheese as well as a sample of what patrons would get if they purchased a meat/cheese board from them. Salted Caramel brownies will be served as a dessert option.
Steelhorse Smokehouse, which the community may also recognize from Pork in the Park, will be serving brisket as well as barbecue pork sliders, shrimp and grits, potato salad and coleslaw. Kopp said their coleslaw is unique in that it includes pineapple. They plan to also serve St. Louis-style ribs as well as tea and lemonade.
Kopp said another fan favorite from the Taste of Newberry event would be back this year – Fusion. The restaurant will be serving Thai sesame chicken and spring rolls, angel cheese rolls, pineapple fried rice with chicken and samples of sushi.
Martin Street Beer Parlor will also be back this year, and serving Michelob Ultra and Natural Light on draft as well as cans of Bud Light and Coors Light. Water and soft drinks will also be available.
Entertainment for Taste of Newberry this year will be the Soda City Brass Band that Kopp said has performed several times at Bar Figaro.
“They’re a New Orleans style jazz band and are very interactive and will be trying to get the crowd’s attention,” Kopp said.
Free parking for the event will be available on site, and once that parking has run out, patrons are encouraged to park nearby parking areas.
“The next closest area is the public library and then along Main Street,” Kopp said.
Patrons are asked not to park in the Hampton Inn parking lot as that area is for hotel guests.
What Kopp said she enjoys about the Taste of Newberry is that by holding it in the Friend Street Building, they are able to offer more seating and a more casual atmosphere that most have seemed to enjoy.
“It’s kind of like a giant reception for the town which is fun,” she said.
For those that arrive early on Friday, Kopp said many of the downtown shops will be open. Following Taste of Newberry, she said she expected several bars and downtown restaurants to be open.
“If you feel like you didn’t get your fill at Taste of Newberry and still want a sit-down meal, that will be available downtown to you as well,” Kopp said.
More information on the event can be found at www.tasteofnewberry.com or by calling the City’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism office at 803-321-1015. Updates will also be available on the City of Newberry’s social media pages and Taste of Newberry event page on Facebook.