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Taste buds in for March treat Robert Moreno | Wed, Mar 13 2013 12:30 PM

The 17th annual Taste of Third and Art Walk is taking over downtown Chula Vista tomorrow, March 14.

The food-tasting event will feature food from 15 different restaurants along the avenue, as well as feature artwork and music of 27 local artists.

“Our goal is to bring people down here to Third Avenue, so that they can experience the restaurants we have here,”  said events manager of the Third Avenue Village Association Jovita Juarez.

Juarez said the city has struggled with getting locals to shop and dine on Third Avenue, and events like this help address that problem.

In previous years, the event took place in September but that changed last year when The Third Avenue Village Association permanently switched the event to March.

Juarez said there were not any TAVA events scheduled in March, and the Taste of Third and Art Walk seemed like the most logical event to move.

It was a success last year, Juarez said, adding that it was sold-out. 

Janet Goff, owner of My Cup Of Tea, has been participating in the Taste of Third and Art Walk the past four years. She said that the event is helpful to her store because it creates exposure.

“Believe it or not, lots of people in Chula Vista do not know that a lot of these little shops on Third Avenue exist,” Goff said. “So the Taste of Third Avenue and Walk serves as a marketing tool for these shops and restaurants.”

Goff also said the event also brings a sense of community to Third Avenue and the rest of Chula Vista.

The preparation for such an event is hectic but in the end, it’s worth it, she said.

Part of My Cup of Tea’s preparations include choosing which tea to sample— the store sells more than 100 different teas so picking the ones to sample is a serious job, Goff said.  She also has to set-up her booths, make sure everything is in order and get her employees ready for the busy day.

Only 200 tickets to this year's event will be sold because restaurants offer free samples of their food and organizers do not want the restaurants to be bombarded with a ton of people.

Artwork will be displayed on Third Avenue and musicians will be serenading the audience in and around the participating restaurants.

“I like seeing people come down and enjoy the great tasting food we have here while they enjoy the arts,” Juarez said. “It’s nice for people to pay attention to these musicians because a lot of them are starving musicians who just want their voice to be heard.”

Participating restaurants are: California Sushi, City Market, D’Volada Café, Don Pedro Taco Shop, Edible Arrangements, El Primero Hotel, Fuddruckers, Illusion Catering, Italianissimo Trattoria, Jimmy’s By the Park, La Bella Pizza Garden, Mangia Italiano on 3rd, Marie Callendars, My Cup of Tea, and Swiss Sisters Bakery.

The event is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 each in advance, or $20 on the day of the event. To purchase tickets call the Third Avenue Village Association at (619) 422-1982 or stop by the office located at 353 Third Avenue.

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