Monday, April 21, 2014

Chamber planning ‘Taste Fest’

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 10/4/2013

It’s a great networking opportunity, John Coen said.

And it should be pretty tasty too.

It’s a great networking opportunity, John Coen said.

And it should be pretty tasty too.

The Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce is planning a “Regional Taste Fest” 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Ottawa Municipal Airport, 2190 Montana Road. It’s an event that should showcase not only the airport, but also an array of area dining options, Coen, president and chief executive officer of the Chamber, said.

“We want to have the opportunity to expose different chambers and locals to show that the airport is an asset to our community,” he said. “We think it is an opportunity not only to expose our airport, but to promote our local eateries as well.”

Several area Chambers have been invited to the airport to sample local restaurant fare, including food from Bella Cucina, Brand N Iron Bar and Grill, Keim Bakery, Molly’s Table, Poncho’s, Sirloin Stockade, Smoked Creations BBQ, Sodexo and Orchard House Bed and Breakfast.

“It brings people together to one place to try food from all over,” Donna Nagle, owner of Molly’s Table, 117 S. Pearl St., Paola, said.

Members of the Baldwin City, Gardner, Louisburg, Osawatomie, Paola, Spring Hill and Wellsville chambers have been invited to the Taste Fest, but they aren’t the only ones welcome at the event, Coen said.

“We welcome anyone from the community to come out,” he said. “It is an after-hours Chamber mixer.”

And food isn’t the only thing on the menu Thursday. A fly-over by Jack Miller, president of the airport authority, is scheduled for 6 p.m., Coen said, and local planes are expected to be on display. Attendees also will get an opportunity to learn about how the airport benefits the economic development of the region, Coen said, as well as see the new facilities.

“It seems to us a good idea to expose areas in our region that a lot of people don’t know about,” Coen said. “People will get to see the [airport’s] new hangar and runway.”

The free, public event is one of the largest Chamber mixers in recent history, he said.

“It is the first time we’ve hosted it in awhile,” Coen said. “Last spring, the Miami County Chamber of Commerce held a regional get-together that we attended.”

Coen said the Chamber is planning for 100 to 175 people at the Taste Fest.

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