The second annual A Taste of Laura Street is set to arrive this weekend. The event focuses on bringing local culinary creations to life in a festive setting.
Local chefs will showcase their secret family recipes with dishes ranging from ribs to sweet potato pie at the second annual A Taste of Laura Street event.
The event was created to highlight the deep history of the street, which acted as a cultural icon from the early 1900s to the 1980s. Families from the area whip up dishes that have been passed down over several generations while live music from Tony Smith and his band fill the air with hits from multiple decades.
“There was a lot of good feedback from the community after last year,” William Thomas Jr., president of the Improvement League of Plant City, said. “We want a revival event in that section in the community, we’re right there by downtown and, with the focus of the city toward growth and connectivity, it’s important we take a proactive step to bringing about that unity. We have a venue right there, it’s walkable from downtown and now we’re hosting this event every year that welcomes the community and lets them see a piece of Plant City they may not have seen before.”
This event will have everything from live music to an art gallery filled to the brim with works from local artists and, of course, all the southern food you can eat. The event is free to attend and the museum, gallery and music on the lawn are open for everyone. If the mouth-watering aromas wafting from the booths around the property tempt you to join the tasting experience, wristbands are $10.
This year, Thomas said, there are more food vendors than ever and a greater variety of foods as well. The art gallery has also slightly shifted its focus and will have new, unique pieces for all to enjoy. The music will feature hits from the 60s and 70s as well as some classic rock, all brought to life on a large professional stage.
While there’s plenty of hearty food to tempt even the most picky of eaters, Thomas said the real gems this year are the desserts. Everything from pies to bread pudding to banana pudding are going to be on display. Wish Farms is donating strawberries to the organization and Thomas said they decided to give the berries to one family to come up with a unique Plant City-themed creation.
This year part of the intrigue is the addition of celebrity judges. Aubrey Jackson, an anchor with CBS News, and Jasmine Styles, a reporter with ABC News, will be on site to taste everything the community has to offer and pick their favorite dishes.
Thomas said the event runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the judges will announce their top picks at 6:30 p.m.
“Last year, I’ll tell you what, we really had to shut it down because people were having such a good time they didn’t want to go home,” Thomas said. “There’s not really anything else like this here in Plant City, so we’re anticipating everybody coming out again, despite the heat, and just having a great time.”
If you go
A Taste of Laura Street
When: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21
Where: Bing Rooming House Museum, 205 S. Allen St.
Cost: Free to attend; $10 for tasting event wristbands
For more information: Visit A Taste of Laura Street on Facebook or plantcitybinghouse.com.