Mark the calendar for Sunday, Nov. 10 because it’s time for the 22nd annual Taste of the Islands, presented by the Marathon chapter of Business and Professional Women. It will be held at the Marathon Community Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
So, yes, it’s back, and bigger than ever, this year.
About a dozen local restaurants will be selling samples of their wares. There will also be a kids’ section with face painting, bounce house and animal touch tanks.
“The kids will be entertained while mom and dad sip and graze,” said BPW Vice President Christy Johnson.
She said there are two new tricks up the club’s sleeve — a farmers market, and an all-female lineup of musicians.
“I think the farmers market is going to be a big hit this year,” Johnson said. “Paradise Produce, the local fruit and vegetable stand, and Olive Morada will bring a sample of its products — olive oil, vinegar, and more — from its shop in the Upper Keys. Islamorada Coffee Roasters will also have a booth. Plus, there will be things like local honey for sale, too.”
Tony Napoli has been tasked with bringing three great “girl” bands to the stage at Marathon Community Park: Rita Beauchamp, Lady A, and a reunion show for Karen Weber and the Funkin’ Conchs.
There will be about two dozen vendor booths set up with arts for sale. (Think early Christmas shopping!)
Admission to the event is $5 per person and prices vary for different tastes, so, bring some cash. Drink tickets sell for $2 each and “cost” between 2 to 3 tickets each — domestic beer, craft beer, wines, High Noon Sips and frozen drinks. Guests can also buy soda, sports drinks and water. Participating restaurants include Overseas Pub and Grill, Driftwood Pizza, Gourmet Tomato (a food truck), Mangrove Mike’s, MHS Bistro, Marathon Yacht Club, Food for Thought, Havana Jacks and Brutus. Admission is free for veterans and children under 12.
The event will culminate with the crowning of the Big Kahuna. There are three teams in the running — the Weekly’s Jason Koler and local attorney Patrick Stevens; the crew from Overseas Lounge; and Patrick Thomas. The groups have been holding fundraisers, as the person who collects the most funds on behalf of BPW is crowned the winner.
The local chapter of BPW supports local women, whether high-school aged or adults.
“In 2019, we gave out $20,000 in scholarships from the Stacie Kidwell Memorial Scholarship Fund,” said Johnson. “We rely on the Taste of the Islands and Keysino Night in January as our biggest fundraisers of the year.”