PLATTSBURGH - The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce is once again giving the public a taste of what local businesses have to offer.
The chamber of commerce will host its annual "Taste of the North Country" this Thursday, Nov. 12, at the Plattsburgh State Field House on Rugar Street. The event, now in its 14th year, will bring together 25 businesses from across the region offering samples of various foods and beverages and include an auction of more than 350 items.
Jody A. Parks, executive vice president for the chamber of commerce, said the event has grown considerably since its inception, and has something for everyone.
"It's turned into this amazing auction and food tasting event all combined into one," said Parks. "It's something that, if you haven't experienced it yet, you need to check this out."
Though the event began mainly as an auction, Taste of the North Country has evolved to be equally as known for its food, said Parks.
"We've got some restaurants who have been doing this, I think for all 13 years like the Ground Round and Anthony's [Restaurant and Bistro]," said Parks. "There's all kinds of food and drinks to be had at the food tasting portion of this ... Most people go away thinking, 'I didn't even know some of these restaurants could do that kind of stuff. The food is really amazing.'"
"It's a great promotion for the restaurants and the vendors, as well," Parks added.
Businesses new to the event this year are Dunkin Donuts; Elf's Farm, Winery and Cider Mill; Kentucky Fried Chicken; Olive Ridley's; The Smoked Pepper; and The Station Caf and Gifts.
Other participating businesses include Adirondack Coffee Roasters; Adirondack Truffle Company; Agri-Mark/McCadam Cheese; Dame's Discount Liquor and Wine; Geoffrey's Pub and Restaurant; L & M Discount Liquor and Wine; Lake Placid Pub and Brewery; LakeShore Candy; Liquor and Wine Warehouse; McDonald's; Ninety-Nine Restaurant; Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group; Sam's Club; and Wal-Mart SuperCenter.
The Taste of the North County auction will include an array of items that should be appealing to everyone who attends the event, said Parks.
"We have an absolutely incredible auction. We get donations from our chamber members and they're very, very generous," said Parks. "There's definitely something that everybody would want."
Hotel accommodations, restaurant gift certificates, gas cards, savings bonds and gift baskets are among the items that will be up for bid. Among the "big ticket" items this year are a sapphire and diamond ring donated by Perrywinkle's Fine Jewelry, valued at $2,880, and crystal lamps donated by Schonbek Worldwide Lighting, valued at $750 and $1,100.
While getting a great deal is part of the fun of an auction, Parks emphasized regardless of the amount spent on an item, the money raised helps the chamber of commerce with its continued efforts of promoting and marketing the region and its various programs to help businesses and the local economy.
"You know you're going to go to Anthony's or the Ground Round or to Ninety-Nine and spend the money anyway. If you buy the gift certificate at the auction, you are supporting the chamber and still doing what you want to do," said Parks.
Taste of the North Country will begin next Thursday with an auction preview at 5 p.m., followed by a silent auction and tasting at 5:30 p.m. The main auction will follow at 7 p.m.
Admission for the event is $18, with tickets available in advance or at the door.
For more information about Taste of the North Country or to purchase tickets, contact the chamber of commerce at 563-1000 or visit their Web site at www.northcountrychamber.com.