Taste of B'ville draws crowd of 600-plus

The blustery wind and snow didn't keep more than 600 people from attending A Taste of Baldwinsville 2008. The event was held last Saturday at the Central New York Family Sports Centre.

With the purchase of a $30 ticket, attendees were treated to the finest pizza, wings, sandwiches, desserts and other foods from the Baldwinsville area. They then voted for their favorites with plastic chips. Gwen Rush of Baldwinsville said it was hard to choose a favorite.

"There's so much good food!" she said. "I really liked Sammy Malone's. I think they have the best sandwich. And the chocolate-covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements are so good."

Jacqueline Coe, owner of Sugar & Spice Party Planners in Baldwinsville, competed in the "After Dinner Delight" category with Devonshire cream and strawberries, a dessert she serves with formal teas. Coe just opened her business this past July, and said that A Taste of Baldwinsville was a great way to get her name out in the community.

"I'm having a great time and enjoying meeting new people," she said. "It's great that we can help the volunteer center and promote our businesses at the same time."

As Anheuser-Busch is a major sponsor of the event, beverages produced and imported by the company were also provided. More than 15 different beers were available to be sampled. This was by far the busiest section of the centre, with more than 10 volunteers working the bar at a time.

Attendees were also given the chance to participate in silent and live auctions, with all proceeds given to the volunteer center. The silent auction was divided into tables of different categories, such as Health & Beauty, Sports & Recreation, and Services Around Town. Each table featured baskets, items or gift certificates related to their category. Several Baldwinsville neighborhoods and streets also donated themed baskets. For example, Country Lane donated a package called "Country Cheers!," which had all the necessary items to throw a wine party.

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