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5th annual Fork Fest aims to promote local business | News

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5th annual Fork Fest aims to promote local business
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's an annual food party that celebrates West Michigan businesses and it's happening Thursday night at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses.

The fifth annual Fork Fest will feature food and drinks from more than 40 local businesses. The vendors will include local farms, restaurants, grocery stores, distillers and breweries.

"Fork Fest has an amazing atmosphere," says Elissa Hillary, Executive Director of Local First, which is the event host. "We will have people milling around between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. to sample food from those vendors. You come, you grab a plate, look around, talk to people and meet the people behind your food businesses. This event is about building connections and meeting people who produce the things we get to enjoy."

Hillary says those connections have gotten stronger over the past five years of Fork Fest. They are anticipating roughly 600 people to attend this year's event and says the number of participating businesses has doubled since it started.

"That's really important," says Hillary. "Agriculture is not only the largest sector of our economy but food is a way that we connect and build culture and build community. One of the most tangible ways we can support each other and support local is by purchasing local food. It is an easy thing to do right here in Michigan and it makes a big difference. We know if we shift one in 10 dollars toward local business it would create 1,600 jobs. And, food is a really enjoyable way to do that."

Fork Fest is Thursday, Oct. 22, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses. That is located at 265 Lakeside Drive NE.

Visit the Local First website to register and buy tickets.

Tickets are also available for purchase at the door.


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