20 restaurants return to Main Street for Taste of Tucker

BriAnna, 10, and Mallory, 8, blow bubbles in the pop-up alley off Main Street during Tucker Day 2021 on Saturday, Sept. 4. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — Taste of Tucker is returning to Main Street on Oct. 2 with local restaurants and live music from 1-6 p.m. About 5,000 people are expected to attend this year. Main Street will be closed to vehicles.

“After the last year and half, a somewhat return to normalcy and being able to support the community is very exciting. I can’t wait to be back on Main Street and see the community,” said Art Wood, founder of Taste of Tucker.

The event, 12 years running, is a fundraiser for Camp Kudzu, NETWorks Cooperative Ministry and Old Town Tucker Merchants Association. Camp Kudzu is especially important to the Wood family because one of their children lives with Type 1 diabetes.

“Taste of Tucker is the most fun event we have in Tucker. It’s always a beautiful day full of food and feeding neighbors. The event allows us to stock our pantry and pay people’s rent, and help in all the ways we can at NETWorks, said David Fisher, executive director of NETWorks. “We missed it so much last year. It’s going to be great to back out on Main Street.”

Husband and wife team Karen and Art Wood created the event to bring the community together, highlight restaurants and raise money for local non-profit organizations. Art was born and raised in Tucker, works in Tucker and lives in nearby Lilburn.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Taste of Tucker went virtual in 2020. Organizers switched gears, making Taste of Tucker a 30-day event featuring one restaurant per day for take-out orders or dining in. Some establishments saw astronomical gains, said Art. Because of its success, the pair decided to move forward with an in-person event in 2021.

The virtual event raised about half of proceeds from 2019, which came in around $20,000.

So far, 20 restaurants are confirmed for this year’s event. Labor shortages have hit the food industry hard, and that’s no exception in Tucker, he said. One restaurant owner recently told him she has been hands-on in the kitchen, slinging pizzas alongside staff.

Local restaurants at this year’s festival include Tucker Meat Market, The Corner Cup and Local 7.

Two local bands will entertain the crowd: Dial Up, a ‘90s cover band, and Amazing Mongooses, who play hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. An area of non-restaurant vendors is being managed by Tucker Farmers Market’s Nancy Qarmota. At the north end of the festival, a kids’ zone is being sponsored by Tucker First UMC.

Taste of Tucker is free to attend. Taste tickets are sold for $1 each throughout the event, and each restaurant takes $2 to $5 worth of tickets in exchange for a small portion of an appetizer, main course or dessert. Non-alcoholic drinks and beer are available at designated booths.

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