One of the hottest tickets in town for the month of October is on sale now, and local residents are being encouraged to act quickly if they want in on this year's Taste of the Heights. The event is October, 21, from 12:30pm-4:30pm.
After a lightly attended first year, last year's event sold out so quickly, Seminole Heights residents barely had a chance to get tickets. Organizers from the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association were forced to turn several people away and left worried that they had alienated the people and the place the event is meant to highlight.
"Last year the organizers came to me and asked if I could help out with marketing," owner of local public relations firm and ad agency Axxis Advertising Stan Lasater said. "Well, we did our job too well and the event sold out before it took place. Everybody in Seminole Heights thought they could just show up at the tent, buy tickets and go on the tour, but unfortunately they were turned away because we sold it out."
This time around, Lasater and the civic association are giving their base audience as many chances to get tickets as possible, notifying Seminole Heights residents that tickets are on sale two weeks in advance of announcements in city wide media.
"We're giving advanced warning," Lasater said. "It will sell out again, so people need to get tickets now before we put it out there to the city wide media outlets. We've increased the amount of tickets to 500, but we have to cap it somewhere for the sake of the restaurants that cater it and the home cook's that participate as well."
If you've never been to Taste of the Heights, area restaurants such as Ella's, Front Porch Grill, Taco Bus, Reservations Gourmet To Go, The Refinery and more participate by cooking an item to go with a side dish made by a partnering home cook whose home serves as a host location.
"You go to the first house and you eat and maybe you think to yourself, 'that was a small portion,' but by the time you got to all ten houses you're stuffed," Lasater said. "It's a fun event because every house has live music or entertainment of some sort and you pretty much end up rolling home."
Taste of the Heights is a walking event that begins at a parking lot near Ella's. Patrons take a map and begin plotting out a course to travel the oak tree shaded streets of Seminole Heights.
Proceeds go toward Heaven Cent Hospitality House, a recovery home for recent recipients of a major transplant and a project of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association.
While the event brings in crowds from as far as Gainesville and Sarasota to showcase the beauty of Seminole Heights, Lasater and organizers felt it was a priority to reach out and make sure local residents were getting the most they could out of the event too.
"We felt like we had to do a pre sell to the local people because we worried that we hurt some feelings last year," Lasater said. "Being a neighborhood event, we need to have the people of the neighborhood on board. So this is their chance to get tickets before we go all out with promotions. Word has gotten out that people are having a great time at this event. I sent out an e-mail to some people already and tickets are going quickly just from that. Where else can you have an all you can eat and free beer and wine for $20?"
Note: If you've received an invite to the event from Lasater and RSVP'd, you must still purchase a ticket. The RSVP does not guarantee you a spot at the event. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.taste-of-the-heights.com.