FOUR CORNERS – Businesses still have an opportunity to set up a table and meet the residents and visitors in the fast-growing Four Corners area, because a local branch of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce is giving them a forum to do that.
But they need to move quickly. The Taste of Four Corners outdoor festival, now going into its fourth year, is slated to be held on Friday, Sept. 23 at Formosa Gardens shopping plaza on U.S. 192. It’s a community event that brings together area restaurants interested in showcasing their favorite meals to the public.
It’s sponsored by the Four Corners Area Council, a group of business owners in the area where Lake, Orange, Osceola and Polk counties meet on U.S. 192 and U.S. 27. The council still has booth space available, and at its most recent meeting on Aug. 11, they talked about the need to get the word out that restaurants have a great opportunity to showcase what they do to the public.
“We could really do well if we can get the word out,” said Sonny Buoncervello, a Realtor now based in Harmony.
They may have to do more, and fast, to get that word out, said Mary Ellen Kerber, who serves on the council and is also the manager of Formosa Gardens, which has hosted the festival for the past three years.
“We need everyone’s help in this room,” Kerber said. “Take a flyer and take it to a restaurant and ask them to participate.”
In previous years, Taste of Four Corners was held in May, in the parking lot at Formosa Garden. The council created this event as a way to bring together the residents of this very transient area, where new permanent residents mix in with snowbirds, tourists, foreign nationals and timeshare owners along a highway that’s a quick drive to Walt Disney World and the other theme parks.
Local restaurants have set up booths and sold samples of their best meals. It’s been a way to advertise the quality of the dining establishments in Four Corners, and it was also the council’s biggest fund-raiser of the year.
Earlier this year, though, the council decided a move to the fall would work better, when it might be cooler out. In past years, it was held on Wednesday evenings, but this year the council settled on Friday night, to pick up some of the weekend traffic on that busy roadway. The council also hopes to benefit because around the same time, Disney hosts its annual Food and Wine Festival at Epcot. Taste of Four Corners, they hope, will draw some tourists on U.S. 192 away from the crowded theme park.
Robin Hughes, who coordinates the council for the Chamber, said the choice of Friday night works for some businesses, but not for others.
“I’ve been going out door to door, and it’s hard to find a date that works for everyone,” she said. “So if you have a favorite place, I would like to see you guys put the word out with your favorite restaurant.”
Hector Lizasuain, chairman of the council and Osceola County’s West 192 coordinator, pointed out that the festival’s new date is past the traditional tourism season on U.S. 192.
“Our tourist season really ends around Labor Day,” he said.
Still, Hughes predicted they would eventually fill up the booth space, since they have more than a month to book more restaurants.
“It will be a great event,” Hughes said.
Kerber also emphasized that while the event is being held in Four Corners, participating restaurants can be from anywhere.
“The restaurants don’t have to be in Four Corners,” she said.
To learn more about Taste of Four Corners, call Hughes at 407-709-2559.
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