Clearwater foodies can indulge themselves at the 2021 Taste Fest taking place Friday, September 24. This year’s event is expected to draw over 1,000 attendees and promises to deliver something scrumptious and unique for both new and past event goers. Clearwater Marine Aquarium will make its splashing debut as event host for its first time. Now in its 11th year following a break in 2020 due to the pandemic, Taste Fest has historically been held in May at Pier 60 Park during the City of Clearwater’s Restaurant Week and has drawn as many as 5,000 attendees. This year’s Clearwater culinary celebration will be showcased in the more intimate setting at the Aquarium, located at 249 Windward Passage, with food available from over 30 restaurants across the Bay area as well as wine, craft beer and more. Guests attending Taste Fest also will have access to the exhibits and ‘tenants’ onsite at the Aquarium, which serves as home to rescue dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and others . Advance general admission tickets for Taste Fest 2021 are $60 per person.
Enjoy Clearwater Taste Fest and the Clearwater Offshore Nationals’ Baystar Race VIP Party and Meet and Greet
Taste Fest 2021, which runs from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., will coincide with the kickoff of the 2021 Hooters Clearwater Offshore Nationals powerboat race weekend. It runs September 24-26 with a kickoff party on Friday; a showcase of the competing boats staged on land for fans to get an up-close look on Saturday; and an adrenalin-pumping powerboat racing competition on Sunday. Guests who purchase $100 VIP Taste Fest tickets in advance will be eligible to attend the Clearwater Offshore Nationals’ Baystar Race VIP Party and Meet & Greet taking place 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the 3rd floor of the Aquarium. Taste VIP Guests can meet this year’s competing powerboat team members and enjoy unlimited food and drink at the Offshore Nationals VIP Party.
Taste Fest organizer AMPLIFY Clearwater is the Clearwater area’s chamber of commerce and hub of tourist information, and whose primary mission is to help support and promote North Pinellas businesses through a variety of programs and events throughout the year, Taste Fest being among one of its largest and most popular events. With this year’s celebration of local restaurants being held in conjunction with Offshore Nationals weekend and at a new venue, this year’s event delivers a fresh flavor.
“Taste Fest is a fun and exciting night full of delicious food, entertainment and engaging in what this community has to offer,” says Amanda Payne, President and CEO of AMPLIFY Clearwater.
This year’s event will feature 30+ participating local restaurants and eateries including 5-Star members Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber Restaurant, Bobby’s Bistro, Island Way Grill, Poke Havana, Rumba Island Bar & Grill, Sandbar and Tate Island Grill. Other major sponsors include Clearwater Gas System, BayCare and Abe’s Place Tap and Grill, this year’s event wine sponsor.
Taste Fest 2021 has also been certified a waste-free event. Suncoast Compost applied the Zero Waste Certified label to the organization’s previous event when 96% of the waste produced at the event was diverted from the landfill and transformed and repurposed into community resources through composting, recycling, and reduction.
Event organizers will be following AMPLIFY Clearwater’s COVID-19 safety protocols based on updated CDC guidelines. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask except when actively eating or drinking and to engage in 6’ social distancing whenever possible. Any event staff in attendance will be required to wear masks throughout the event, as well. According to AMPLIFY Clearwater’s established protocols, any guests who have been exposed to or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to please stay home, regardless of whether they have been able to get tested or received a negative test result.
For an up-to-date list of this year’s participating restaurants or to buy tickets, go to amplifyclearwater.com/tastefest. To learn more about Amplify Clearwater, click here to stop by its Facebook page.
More About Amplify Clearwater:
Our mission at AMPLIFY Clearwater is to promote and meet the needs of businesses, tourism, and industry and to provide leadership for the advancement of economic vitality and equality for the community of the North Pinellas Region.
More about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium:
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a 501c non-profit organization, and aquarium in Clearwater, Florida. It is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of sick and injured marine animals, public education, conservation, and research. (Hope and Winter Left).
Story written by Chris Kuhn for Destination Tampa Bay™. Sample stock and other photos are for editorial purposes only, all right reserved. Feature image from previous Taste Fest in addition to stock photos. Photo of Clearwater Offshore Nationals’ of previous year covered for Destination Tampa Bay™ magazine.
See how this year’s Taste Fest 2021 came out by viewing our event gallery. Here is just a sampling of some of the photos taken by contributing photographer Sherri Johnson.