Hungry festival-goers will be in luck at Celebrate South Orange 2012, as organizers are set to introduce food vendors to the mix of entertainment, crafts, kids’ games, retailers, and other event highlights. The day-long festival, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 16 in downtown South Orange, will feature a mix of concessions from South Orange and area restaurants, caterers, and other food and drink establishments. The vendors will set up shop in a centralized “Restaurant Row” that will operate from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The addition of CSO Restaurant Row marks the first time that food will be sold to patrons throughout the entire day of the festival. In previous years, Celebrate South Orange has culminated in a community supper featuring food donated by South Orange restaurants; this year, however, the organizers decided to move away from that model—in part to accommodate the needs of the local restaurant community.

Main Street South Orange President and CSO organizer Adena Traub explained that in the months following CSO 2011, the organization surveyed a number of Village restaurants to gauge how the festival could better serve their needs. The majority of respondents expressed the desire to sell their own food at Celebrate South Orange. “We felt this was a great idea because it would give restaurants more ownership in the event,” Traub noted. “It provides food establishments with the opportunity to market themselves and to earn a profit at the same time.”

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Participation in CSO’s Restaurant Row is open to all restaurants, caterers, and food establishments in South Orange and surrounding areas. There is a one-time application fee of $125 for South Orange restaurants and $150 for non-South Orange restaurants that register before April 25; after April 25, the registration fee is $200 for all restaurants. Deadline for registration is May 16.

More information on becoming a food vendor at Celebrate South Orange 2012 is available at www.celebratesouthorange.org.