Taste of Hudson to celebrate its 10th anniversary Labor Day weekend

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Hudson -- Taste of Hudson, a culinary, lifestyle and entertainment festival, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

The 2014 Taste of Hudson, presented by Akron Children's Hospital, will mark 10 years as one of the area's largest festivals. Slated for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, the event will attract an anticipated 35,000 people to the city of Hudson over the Labor Day weekend.

Festival hours are: noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 31, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 1.

"We're so proud that the festival has grown to be one of Ohio's premier Labor Day Weekend events," said Executive Director Andy Malitz, who has been running the festival along with a dedicated board, numerous committee members, and hundreds of volunteers since its inception.

"Our goal has always been to return every year with something new and exciting, while remaining true to the core elements of local food, art and music," he said.

The 2014 Taste of Hudson will feature more than 20 restaurants from Hudson and the local culinary community. Many of the restaurants have been part of the festival for its entire 10-year run. While admission to all Taste of Hudson attractions is free, attendees may purchase pre-loaded dining cards on site to enjoy unique taste-sized portions from restaurants throughout the festival.

More than just a food festival, Taste of Hudson is now established as one of the largest free music events in Ohio. This year, more than 60 bands will appear on six stages throughout the festival.

In addition, attendees of Taste of Hudson will enjoy a fine art and crafts fair, an extensive children's area presented by Little Tikes, the Jo-Ann Kids Craft Zone, and a luxury auto show, presented by Diamond Auto Lease and Sales. In all, Taste of Hudson offers more than 100 festival activities and exhibitors from the Clocktower Green on historic Main Street to the modern, upscale First & Main shopping district.

The popular "Race to the Taste" 5K and Family Fun Run will kick off Labor Day. The event, a new addition to the Taste of Hudson last year, was created by the 2013 class of Leadership Hudson and drew 300 participants. Race details will be available at www.tasteofhudson.com.

"We've created an event the entire family can enjoy all day long, that shows off our talented restaurateurs and diverse array of merchants and local businesses," Malitz added. "It's an event enjoyable for families with children of all ages, and also a happening spot into the night with plenty of live music and libations in the North End Wine & Beer Garden."

The support of numerous civic-minded sponsors makes Taste of Hudson possible. The 10th Annual Taste of Hudson is presented by Akron Children's Hospital and co-promoted with support from Windstream Communications. Taste of Hudson is produced in association with Little Tikes, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, North End and Pepsi.

Hail to the Chefs Gala previews Taste of Hudson Culinary Excitement

As preparations get underway for the 2014 Taste of Hudson, the community is invited to preview the summer season at Hail to the Chefs May 30 at 7 p.m. at Lake Forest Country Club.

The annual Hail to the Chefs gala pays homage to the culinary expertise behind the fabulous Taste of Hudson restaurants. WKYC personality Joe Cronauer will return as host and emcee for the Ninth Annual Hail to the Chefs party, which is co-chaired by Shawn Lyden, executive vice president at Akron Children's Hospital, and Kathy Chadwick-Koke, vice president of marketing at Laurel Lake Retirement Community. Both organizations are long-time sponsors of Hail to the Chefs and Taste of Hudson. Henning Software of Hudson is also recognized as a valued Hail to the Chefs sponsor.

"Hail to the Chefs is an event built around our culinary talent, and we're thrilled to showcase them at the social event of the year," said Hail to the Chefs co-chair Stephanie Lallement. "With the support of our generous restaurant community, we've been able to have lots of fun and raise money for local charities at the same time," added co-chair Carrie Gynn.

Immediately following cocktails and appetizers, each chef in attendance will present an exciting unveiling of their culinary offerings for the evening. Many of the fine wines and craft beers that are a part of the North End Wine & Beer Garden at Taste of Hudson will also be featured. Guests will enjoy a spirited live auction conducted by Cronauer and partake in a silent auction featuring unique items and many one-of-a-kind experiences. Musical entertainment will be provided by ContraBand, a Taste of Hudson favorite.

Tickets for Hail to the Chefs will go on sale April 14 at www.tasteofhudson.com.

Taste of Hudson is a two-day lifestyle festival produced by Taste of Hudson, Inc., a non-profit corporation. The event was created by the 2003-2004 class of Leadership Hudson, a program of the Hudson Rotary Club of Hudson Clocktower. The festival is organized by volunteers to promote the Hudson community of restaurants, businesses, artists and entertainers and to provide funding for several charitable organizations. Over the past nine years, more than $267,000 has been donated to local civic organizations and deserving non-profit groups. Festival information is available at www.tasteofhudson.com.

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