Taste of Newnan: Food, food ... and community

by Celia Shortt


The culinary program at West Georgia Technical College has participated in the Taste of Newnan for several years. This year their menu was inspired by a study abroad trip to China and featured a chicken biscuit on a stick. From left, WTGC culinary students Jatavior Byrd, Hailey Furey, Cheyenne Alce, and Blake Skinner. 

Downtown Newnan was full of food, people, and music Thursday for the 2014 Spring Taste of Newnan.

Guests visited new food vendors and enjoyed enhanced entertainment, said Courtney Collins, manager of Main Street Newnan.

Taste of Newnan features local restaurants and caterers who set up around the historic Court Square in downtown. Each vendor shares a sample of their menu items in exchange for tickets. “The Taste of Newnan continues to serve as our community's signature event,” said Hasco W Craver IV, business development director for Newnan. “Not only does the event enhance the image of our historic downtown, it also offers local restaurants an opportunity to market their products to over 7,000 attendees.”

John and Linda Hoth have been coming to both the spring and fall Taste of Newnan events for the past six years.

“We always bring an outsider with us so they can see what it is all about,” said Mr. Hoth. “We love the tastes, especially the new ones. It is always a great time.”

“We love it!” said Mrs. Hoth. “It’s awesome.”

This spring edition of the food festival included 40 participating restaurants. Of those 40, some had been doing the event for a while – and for others it was their first time.

Pita By The Beirut recently expanded their restaurants and opened one at Ashley Park in Newnan, and the 2014 Spring Taste of Newnan was the first for owner Nour Rabai.

“Newnan has been so supportive since we first opened in Ashley Park,” said Rabai. “It’s great food, great community, and great people. We plan on being back next year.”

Their food offerings for Taste of Newnan included gyros, hummus and shawarma.

West Georgia Technical College is a repeat participant in the Taste of Newnan events. For their menu this year, the students used a study abroad trip to Beijing and Shanghai to give them inspiration.

WGTC Culinary Instructor Chef Tricia Vera said, as part of their trip, she and students were able to study Chinese culture and cuisine.

“We wanted to bring what we experienced there to Newnan,” she said.

Like food sold from food vendors in China, everything on WGTC’s menu was on a stick, including a chicken biscuit. Other items included peach pie, a hamburger slider with bacon marmalade, and fruit – all on a stick.

This year’s event also featured live entertainment on two different stages and kid friendly activities in the “Kid Zone.”

The next Taste of Newnan will be held on Oct. 2.

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