Chefs are still needed for the first Taste of Shippensburg food festival scheduled to run from noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Tuscarora Room of Reisner Dining Hall at Shippensburg University.
Organizers say just three vendors have registered so far, but a minimum of 10 are needed for the first-time event, which is a fundraiser for the Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition and Shippensburg Produce and Outreach.
“We had a lot of initial response, but the registration forms just haven’t come back in,” said Danelle Wagner, one of the event’s organizers. “We’ve extended the deadline until Jan. 5. If we have enough vendors, we’ll move forward with ticket sales. If not, we’ll have to cancel the event.”
As of Wednesday, only Kathy’s Deli, Arooga’s and Sakura, all of Shippensburg, have registered for the festival. Each will prepare one of its house specialties for sampling by both the public and a panel of judges, and People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice certificates will be awarded to the winners.
Wagner said entertainment will be provided by the Topper Broz Band, and a silent auction will feature a variety of items donated by local businesses and individuals. In addition, anyone who attends the event in a produce costume will be eligible to win a prize.
But Wagner and the festival committee say more vendors are needed for the event to be a success.
“We need at least 10,” she said.
According to Wagner, the food festival has been in the planning stage for more than a year.
“I started this position in the middle of July, and the festival was planned before that,” said Wagner, who is serving as a volunteer for SCRC and SPO through her work with AmeriCorps’ Volunteer In Service to America Program. “I think they started planning it in the spring of last year.”
She said the idea of raising money by hosting a food festival is a good one.
“It’s a good idea because it’s about community,” she said.
“I think a food festival will be fun. It brings the community together. They get to sample local things from local restaurants, and support local businesses. And the proceeds go back to two organizations that give back to the community.”
The event is open to restaurants, caterers, cafes, pubs, bakeries and other food establishments. To register, contact Wagner by Jan. 5 at DCWagner@ship.edu.
“There is no vendor registration fee,” Wagner said. “They are giving their time and samples of their food. Folks who attend would pay to sample their special dishes.”
If additional vendors register, tickets will go on sale next week. Cost will be $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The snow date is Feb. 3.
Parking is available in the commuter lot near the Luhrs Performing Arts Center.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TasteOfShippensburg.
The Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition works with various organizations to provide local social services and youth programs. Shippensburg Produce and Outreach provides healthy foods to more than 600 families in the Shippensburg Area School District each month.