*Congrats to Jim Koppa, the winner of Good Morning WNY's Taste of Buffalo Contenst*
BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- The nation's largest two-day food festival takes over downtown Buffalo this weekend and there will be some changes for this year's Taste of Buffalo. Those who've been to the event the past few years know that crowds tended to bottleneck going in and out of the north end of the square on Delaware Avenue. That should not be a problem this year as organizers are moving booths out of that stretch.
Construction of a new United States courthouse on one side of Delaware Avenue and barricades around the deteriorating Statler Towers on the other side have narrowed that block of Delaware, so for this year's "Taste" it will become a through-traffic only zone for pedestrians. "The square has a ton of room and we're utilizing that more and we've also been able to relieve some of the congestion on Delaware by pushing some things to the square that have wider streets," explains Mac Hartman, Taste of Buffalo Chairman.
The "Taste" will also feature even more fun for children this year with several new interactive exhibits including one that's all about Zhu-Zhu pets.
The Boy Scouts of America are also getting involved. The organization is bringing in a 10,000 square foot campus called Adventure Base 100 that will be set up at Delaware and Chippewa. It's a traveling exhibit that celebrates the Boy Scouts' 100th anniversary, and admission is free. "We're going to have pinewood derby racetrack," says Kevin Gross of the Greater Niagara Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, "And, an interactive virtual pinewood derby."
The real star of the show though at the Taste of Buffalo is, as always, the food. Some restaurants started on Monday of this week working around the clock to get ready. "We run the smoker 24 hours a day. We do the pork butts overnight and the ribs during the day," says Sean Euler, Head Chef at Fat Bob's on Virginia Place in Buffalo.
Fat Bob's has been involved with the Taste of Buffalo for a few years and it has won awards for its ribs. The restaurant's pulled pork sandwich is also always popular with the crowds. "We want to be ready to serve about 6,000 pulled pork sandwiches," says Euler.
The Taste of Buffalo hours are 11:00-9:00 this Saturday and 11:00-7:00 on Sunday. The Channel 7 booth will be in Niagara Square and visitors who stop by there can get free Turkey Hill ice cream.
Something else that's new at the "Taste" this year is Nickel City Chef competitions, similar to the Iron Chef televised competitions. Chefs will be competing both Saturday and Sunday at a theater set up outside New Era on Delaware Avenue.
Click on the following link for more information on the festival: tasteofbuffalo.com