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Taste of Buffalo draws thousands to downtown

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WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
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This year's Taste of Buffalo drew thousands as it celebrated its 30th year.

Thousands of hungry foodies crowded downtown streets to taste the delectable offerings from more than 50 restaurants from around the region.

The two day food event was a big hit.  Taste First Vice Chair Ann Hackett was watching every detail.  Hackett will be the chair of the event in 2014.

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Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
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Taste of Buffalo at Niagara Square

The size of the crowd won't be known for a few days until ticket sales are counted and all of the other details are counted off.

But everyone says it was a great year, especially for those selling things like ice cream. 

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Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond
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Taste of Buffalo along Delaware Ave.

There were special smoothies like those made with Oreo cookie chunks at Clarence Center Cafe. Owner Nora Cleary says the Taste is a marketing tool.

"This is great for business...It's great for business. My business is in Clarence. But, what's great about is coming to Buffalo and drawing that audience out to Clarence," said Cleary.

That's a common theme for restaurants and other food sources which come back every year.

Ed Manhart owns Niagara Landing Wine Cellar in Cambria. He says business in the tent was so good the machinery overheated and had to be shut down. Manhart says he has supporting customers.

"We've been around for a long time. We have a lot of distribution in stores and in some restaurants. And, it's growing and growing and growing. Being the first winery in that area got the name out early and people want to support even more now local wineries and it's a good thing," said Manhart.

Restaurants say even in the heat, customers were buying foods like pizza, fried chicken and jerked chicken.

Among this year's award winners are the Seafood Jambalaya from Chester's Cajun Grill, which won the Chairman's Choice Award, and the Bleu Heron Burger from the Riverside Grill earned the Children's Choice Award.

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Credit WBFO File Photo / WBFO News
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WBFO News

Saturday & Sunday 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.