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Community members from all over West Michigan gathered at Romence Gardens and Greenhouses Thursday evening for Local First’s annual harvest celebration, Fork Fest.
In its fourth year, Fork Fest has become an event anticipated by the community. Angela Johnson, Twisted Rooster’s Marketing Coordinator, put it simply: “It’s my favorite event of the year.”
“I think that people are getting more excited about it up-front,” agreed Chris McDonald, the owner of Terra GR. “It’s gaining traction.”
Over 40 local businesses were represented at the event, serving food, drinks and many other tasty treats throughout the greenhouses. In the past two years, the event has grown, expanding the vendor tables to two greenhouses instead of one.
“They told me that it’s standing-room-only,” said Caroline, a Romence staff member, “but it’s hard to believe until you see it.”
Why does the event attract so many people? Well, for one, the food.
“It’s so cool to have all my favorite restaurants under one roof,” said Addison Smith, a first-time attendee.
“It’s great to see people’s faces when they eat the cheesecake,” said Mark Datema, the owner of Grand Rapids Cheesecake Company.
Another reason for Fork Fest’s popularity is the atmosphere.
“It’s cool because there are so many people here from different walks of life,” observed Dustin Wilfert from Doorganics, “but they are all here for one mission.”
Even though Cory Davis ran out of food for Daddy Pete’s BBQ - due to delicious popularity - he summed up the event with a smile, saying, “It’s been awesome!”