Reborn under a new name, the "A Taste of Old Town Monrovia" beer, wine and food festival will return to the city in October to showcase the best local restaurants have to offer.
Formerly known as the "Old Town Monrovia Food, Wine, and Jazz Festival" when it was last held by the city in 2008, the event has been reclaimed by the and will kick off Sunday, Oct. 16.
"It's designed to showcase the city and to get people into the city and get foot traffic onto the street," said Kiwanis Vice President Julie Gentile, who is organizing the festival.
Because of budget cuts, the city was no longer able to put on the festival when it ceased two years ago, but Gentile and other Kiwanis members have now taken up the task. They have been working closely with city staff to make the event as good as ever this time around, she said.
"The city has been so helpful," Gentile said. "There isn’t anything they want more than for it to be successful."
April Soash, the city's community services director, said that Kiwanis approached the city earlier this year about restarting the event. The city gave Kiwanis members all of its planning and contact information, she said.
"We’re there to help in any way we can with Kiwanis and I think it’s great that it’s coming back," she said. "We feel very fortunate that Kiwanis was willing to take on doing that."
For a $50 pre-registration ticket or $60 at the door, volunteers will "slap on a wrist band and hand you a wine glass" and then attendees can take their pick from food, beer and wine samples provided by restaurants from all over the city, Gentile said.
Kiwanis sent out notices for the event to every restaurant in the city last week, and they already have confirmation of participation from , , , , , and , with many more on the way, Gentile said.
"It was always something that most of the merchants were excited about doing," said Gentile of the festival in its previous incarnation.
Gentile said that 50 percent of the profit from the festival will go to the , with the other half going towards other Kiwanis programs.
The festival relies heavily on sponsorships from local businesses to pay for the booths, banners, electricity, and other costs associated with the event, Gentile said. For $250, sponsors receive a street banner that will be posted on an Old Town light post about a month before the festival.
For $5,000, sponsors will get their name or business on a banner stretching across Myrtle Avenue, Gentile said.