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Local First’s Fork Fest will support a sustainable community this week by introducing food lovers to many locally sourced restaurants and encouraging them to shift their dollars to those establishments.
This will be the fourth year of Fork Fest and Local First is expecting its largest turnout yet, with more than 500 people projected to attend.
Fork Fest will take place from 5-9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses, located at 265 Lakeside Drive NE.
More than 40 of West Michigan's local food and beverage producers, growers and restaurateurs will be onsite, providing attendees with generous samples from their menus. All food samples are included in a $30 ticket, which can be purchased at the door. Additionally, Brewery Vivant beer, Fenn Valley wine, and Vander Mill cider will be available for purchase at the event.
New this year, Local First will be hosting five individuals representing farms or nonprofit organizations integral to our sustainable food system in West Michigan. These informal pop-up presentations will provide a way for people to engage with and learn about what's happening right now in the food system. Presenters include representatives from the MSU Extension, GVSU's student farm, Hope Farms, Earthkeeper Farm and Urban Roots Farm.
“We have a great agricultural abundance here in Michigan, and at Fork Fest we see that firsthand and celebrate it in a memorable way,” said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First. "Attendees will meet and try samples from food entrepreneurs that build our connection to place, and contribute to the uniqueness of our community.”
The Fauxgrass Quartet will perform live folk music throughout the evening.
Fork Fest is the final event of the Eat Local Challenge, which also included documentary screenings of “Fresh,” the 10x10 Pledge, and two first-time events on the lakeshore: Gather and the Lakeshore Street Party.
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Photo curtesy of Tiberius Images.