The Taste and Sounds of Old Town descends happily upon Old Town Goleta on Saturday June 8th. Gates open at 1 p.m., and the event starts with the sounds of Soul Machine playing their unique old school sounds of funk, dance and R&B in the Beer / Wine / Garden at 5901 Hollister Avenue.

Patrons will receive a wristband entitling them to taste at 16 destinations along the Taste Route, from historic to modern. The Habit in Old Town is the second for the chain, which launched in Isla Vista in 1969. The Old Town Habit still serves up the Original Chili Burger, the only Habit in the country to do so. Iconic Pepe’s Authentic Mexican Restaurant will serve up 3 amazing dishes. Asian stars Gimeal and Pattaya Thai are not to be missed. New kids on the block the Old Town Coffee Company are ready to show patrons why they’ve got such a strong following. The variety of tastes on offer for this event is both broad and delicious.

“One of the delights of the Taste is to try restaurants you didn’t even know were there. These are the authentic longtime mom-and-pop eateries with amazing food that only locals know about,” said Goleta Old Town Community Association Board member Phebe Mansur.

Goleta Old Town Community Association (GOTCA) is a local community non-profit that puts on the Taste event. They also host a Halloween Candy Crawl, area clean-ups, and the hugely attended Goleta Christmas Parade. They recently won national recognition in the Neighborhoods USA “Neighborhood of the Year” competition.  “People don’t know just how much life there is in Old Town. We have a lot to offer! We’re excited for people to come out and visit Old Town for a unique experience, and to discover new favorite haunts,” said GOTCA board member Grace Wallace.

This won’t be one of those events where you get a nibble and a sliver of radish as a Taste. “People need to approach this like Thanksgiving. The Taste is a restaurant crawl with over 20 unique and flavorful tastes on offer – come ready to eat!” says GOTCA board member Mark Navarro. “We’ve warned the judges to starve themselves in advance of the event: Mayor Paula Perotte, Councilmember Kyle Richards, County Supervisor Gregg Hart, and Gary from the Gary and Catherine Morning Show on KLITE 101.7 FM. Expect these restaurants to try to win you over at the door, and impress you with their cuisine. Some intend to stuff you with so much great food that you can’t make it to another Taste destination, which is not a bad strategy.” In addition to formal judging, all Taste patrons get to select their favorites for the People’s Choice awards: Best of the Taste in flavor, presentation, and hospitality.

The Taste also hosts a Beer / Wine / Cider garden at Prestigious Auto where event patrons can try local brews from hometown establishments Santa Barbara Cider Company and M Special. Windrun Wines is pouring a locally crafted Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir, from very limited stock. Goleta Winery SAMsARA’s deliciously crisp wines will also be poured. Your first drink is included with your Taste ticket.

The Taste is a community fundraiser for the Goleta Christmas Parade. Tickets are on sale now at goletataste.com. Advance tickets receive a $5 discount. Members of Goleta Old Town Community Association also receive a $5 discount.

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