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A Savory 'Taste of Arcadia'

The annual fundraiser boasts a record 75 food vendors.

Taste of Arcadia returns Monday at the Los Angeles County Arboretum. Sample cuisines from some of the San Gabriel Valley's most beloved eateries and wash it all down with fine wine.

This year's event will be the biggest ever, with a record 75 food vendors and 40 new food, wine and beer booths. Food Network reality stars Penny Davidi and Jyll Everman will judge Taste's debut culinary contest alongside Mayor Pro Tem Mickey Segal and his wife, Lee — a nutritionist and gourmet cook.

Taste of Arcadia started out 40 years ago as a small fundraiser for the Arcadia Tournament of Roses Association float. Of course, back then, it was called The Wines Shed Mixer and A Taste of Arcadia, and took place on the infield at Santa Anita Park. The Roses Association dissolved in 1999 and transferred all its assets to the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, which opted to carry on the food and wine event tradition.

The event now attracts more than 1,000 people every year and has evolved into an all-out festival, replete with entertainment, music and Brazilian dancers. This year, the Great Lounge-O-Rama (an eight-piece classic pop/rock band) will provide the soundtrack for the event.

Former Arcadia resident Debbie Turner, who played Marta von Trapp in the 1965 Academy Award-winning hit “The Sound of Music,” will sign autographs for Taste attendees along with two of her six on-screen siblings: Angela Cartwright (Brigitta von Trapp) and Kym Karath (Gretl von Trapp).

The Arcadia High School Drum Line will greet guests at the gate.

Car lovers also have something to look forward to. Four local dealerships will showcase the highlights of their 2013 inventory as part of the event's first-ever Business Showcase.

Regardless of how it has changed over the years, Taste of Arcadia has never strayed from its roots as a fundraiser for charity; the Chamber will donate $5 from the sale of every ticket to select local nonprofit organizations.

If You Go:

  • Tickets are all-inclusive, providing unlimited “tastes” and free parking. They are $50 presage, and $60 at the gate.
  • To buy tickets or for more information, call (626) 447-2159 or visit the Chamber of Commerce Web site.

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