By Lauren Foote
The third annual Taste of Youngstown is scheduled to take place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the M Gallery on Saturday.
YSUscape, a student-led organization that collaborates with the community to revitalize and beautify the area, started the event in 2014.
“Taste of Youngstown is YSUscape’s way of showcasing all of our favorite local restaurants and businesses,” Nick Chretien, president of YSUscape, said. “We offer our guests samples of our favorite local food and the chance to win many awesome raffle items.”
This year’s event will feature Avalon Downtown, The Federal, V2, One Hot Cookie, the Royal Oaks, Kravitz Delicatessen and Catullo’s Prime Meats.
“This is our primary fundraiser of the year to fund continued efforts in the community,” Chretien said.
Morgen Reamer, YSUscape’s vice president of fundraising, planned the event.
“This year I’m hoping for a great turnout, which we have been fortunate enough to have received from the community the past two years,” Reamer said.
She said events like Taste of Youngstown are a critical part of the group’s mission.
“The dollars our organization raises at events like this goes directly towards our projects in the community,” Reamer said. “The more we raise, the bigger the impact YSU students are able to have in the community.”
The event has grown over the years. Last year, 125 people attended the event, and they are expecting more than 200 at this year’s gathering.
Their first event funded a mural project on the side of the former R&S Foods building at the corner of Elm Street and Madison Avenue. This year’s event is not tied to a specific project.
“This year, our group really focused in on the Wick Park neighborhood and workdays that help clean up and board vacant properties in the neighborhood,” Chretien said. “This year we will use the funds raised at Taste of Youngstown to continue our workdays.”
Tickets for the event cost $10 for students, $15 for members of the community and are available at the door or online at https://squareup.com/store/ysuscape.