Several restaurants that set up shop in Burbank within the last year have already joined the roster to serve up food for the event, said Robin Faulk, marketing manager for the Downtown Burbank Partnership.
"A lot the new tenants that came into town in the last year were very eager to get involved in this, as were 95% of all the restaurants that were in last year," he said.
First-time vendors include NYPD Pizza, Romancing the Bean and the Granville Gourmet Café, he said. Returning are Pomodoro Cucina Italiana, California Pizza Kitchen and Ben & Jerry's.
All of the proceeds for the event, besides a small portion for expenses, will benefit the Burbank Community YMCA's financial scholarship fund, which helps fund memberships for those who would otherwise be unable to attend the YMCA, said Susan Sebastian, senior marketing and communication director for the YMCA.
"The event itself is wonderful," she said. "We have a very generous philanthropic community that always comes out and supports great efforts."
The Downtown Burbank Partnership, a nonprofit charged with improving the downtown area, covers most of the hard costs of putting on the event, like renting tents to house participating vendors, setting up the stage, booking the bands and distributing marketing materials, Faulk said.
But the continuing success of Taste of Downtown Burbank is due to attendees, who leave the event with rave reviews, he said.
"Our marketing budget really hasn't changed over the past couple years," he said. "I think the bottom line is people really enjoy the event and they tell their friends. It's amazing how many people I meet during the course of the year who were either at the event or heard about the event and want to know when the next event is planned again."
Festivities run from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Musical performances include jazz act The Doug MacDonald Trio, The Perfect Gentleman — an a capella group — and The Amazing Platters, who play oldies and rock and roll. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.tasteofdowntownburbank.com.
CHRIS WIEBE covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at chris.wiebelatimes.com.