Taste of the Town celebrates 20th year with biggest event yet

MYRTLE BEACH — Twenty years of culinary perfection were celebrated Nov. 5 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, where thousands of hungry participants sampled the best of gourmet food along the Grand Strand at the Taste of the Town. The event raises money for St. Andrew School.

Principal Molly Halasz had a big smile on her face as she watched trophies awarded to the winning entries.

“It seems like every year it gets a little bit bigger and a little bit more festive. I hear that the numbers are way up,” she said, adding that the event usually draws about 6,000 people.

“We usually make about $50,000, and we hope it will be in that same ballpark because we would love to put an addition on the school.”

At 7 p.m. the headcount was 5,825 with more people streaming in.

Brad Dean, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce said, “It’s a phenomenal event. I think it’s symbolic of the growth of the community and what great things can happen when good people who care about the community get involved.”

Kathleen Burroughs, chairperson of the event, said, “We have had a phenomenal turnout. Our numbers are ahead of last year, and we are very excited about it. The volunteers come out of the woodwork.”

Thirty-nine restaurants took part in Taste of the Town. Myrtle Beach resident Skeeter Nash mingled with the crowd, and Tim and Paula Loehr of St. James Church in Conway ate supper with their family.

Sister Kathleen Driscoll of St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Georgetown attended Taste of the Town.

“This is always a great celebration and a wonderful way to support Catholic education,” she said.

Msgr. Chet Moczydlowski announced winners, handed out trophies, and posed for photographs.

“It’s an excellent school,” he said of St. Andrew. “They maintain a tremendous quality of education, and we have a tradition to uphold. After running this for 20 years, I hope it gets better and better each year.”

Sister Connie Fahey of Mercy Hospice said, “I think it’s wonderful. I’ve never seen the crowd bigger.”

Msgr. Joseph Roth, former pastor of the parish, said: “It looks like a great success. The school here is an excellent school.”