More than 40 local restaurants from the Kennesaw and Cobb County area participated in this year’s event, including Dogwood Terrace, a restaurant that also plays host to special occasions in Acworth.
Employees in chefs jackets served baby back riblets from a white linen table setting.
Donovan’s Irish Cobbler of Woodstock offered $3 bowls of shepherd’s pie, boxty (a potato pancake) and corned beef and cabbage.
Owner Tim Donovan started his restaurant and catering business three years ago, but this was the first time he participated in Taste of Kennesaw.
“We have never been to an event this large before,” Donovan said.
Donovan said he was there to raise awareness of Donovan’s Irish Cobbler and was very pleased with how the day turned out, especially the high demand for the booth’s peach cobbler.
One Marietta establishment providing dessert was T&D Sweet Treats, which served red velvet cake, strawberry shortcake, banana pudding and molten lava cupcakes, as well as a gluten-free cake.
All day, local groups took to the stage on Main Street to entertain the crowd, leading up to the main act of the evening, Sons of Sailors, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band.
Earlier in the day, a group from ETO Martial Arts and Fitness performed a 25-minute, nonstop routine set to music.
The martial arts team displayed a blended style of Tae Kwon Do techniques, including flips, jump kicks and punches through wooden boards.
Elisabeth Morin, who is 17 years old and lives in Kennesaw, said she has studied martial arts for eight years.
Morin said timing is the hardest part of the routine, and her favorite move is using the “bo form,” a long pole with a flag that is twirled in the air.
The dojang (Korean studio), at 2689 South Main St. in Kennesaw, is celebrating its 20th anniversary, said ETO owner Missan Edwards.
The martial arts group had eight girls and four boys performing, which the team said is a true display of “girl power.”
“(Marital arts) really builds up your confidence,” Morin said. “It strengthens your mind, body and spirit.”
While ETO was finishing its first performance of the day, a dance troupe was practicing their tap routine before being called to the stage.
A group of smiling girls dressed in blue and white sailor outfits were clicking their shoes as their teacher, Brenda Mealor of Marietta, called out the timing.
Mealor is the director of The Dancers Studio, which recently relocated to 4290 Bells Ferry Road in Kennesaw, and is celebrating its 25th season.
Mealor said performing at the Taste of Kennesaw this year was exciting for her students and their parents.
“They got rained out last year,” Mealor said.
The event is organized by The Kennesaw Business Association and the city of Kennesaw.
Sam Lutz of Acworth, who has been with the association since 2006, said Taste of Kennesaw gives exposure to local restaurants, and continuing work by the Kennesaw Business Association educates small business owners in the area and helps them network.
Taste of Kennesaw is also a fundraiser for local charities, including The Daily Bread Food Pantry at Shiloh United Methodist Church in Kennesaw, which is run solely by volunteers.
The fourth annual food pantry challenge between Kennesaw Mountain High School and Kell High School is a competition to see which group of students can collect the most non-perishable food items and monetary donations to win a trophy.
Organizers said they expect to raise $1,500 worth of donations this year between the two schools.