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The inaugural Hartford Taste Festival brought thousands of people into downtown Hartford to support local businesses, explore local arts and artisans, and fund a local charity. Proceeds from the two-day event benefitted Connecticut Foodshare and supported new businesses and those recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

“It was exciting to see so many people come to Hartford and support these local businesses. There are so many hidden gems right here in Hartford—chefs, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists. It was great to have this opportunity for them to be spotlighted and enjoyed in their community,” says Marian Andoh, Director of Small Business Development at the Hartford Chamber of Commerce.

The event showcased 29 food vendors and 19 musicians on two stages at Constitution Plaza. Presenting sponsor The Hartford generously covered food vendor fees, enabling restaurants to participate at no cost.

“People don’t often recognize the amount of work that goes into putting together and participating in an event of this caliber,” emphasizes INGroup Creative Owner Jeannette Dardenne, who provided PR, marketing, and strategy support for the event. “It was incredible seeing people come out and rally for Hartford. With so many events to choose from this weekend, it was admirable to see the community support so many of our local small businesses in our capital city.”

With the success of this year’s event, plans are already underway for a 2023 Taste of Hartford Festival.

Photo (left to right): Hartford Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julio Concepción, The Hartford Community relations Lead Sarah Curran Morin, Connecticut Foodshare President & CEO Jason Jakubowski, and MetroHartford Alliance President & CEO David Griggs.