As The Summit Historical Society gets set to celebrate its 30th anniversary of the annual "Taste of Summit" on March 26, a new look and feel for the event is in store. The event, like the venue that hosts it -- the legendary Grand Summit Hotel -- has a long history of attracting residents from Union County and beyond.

Geared toward raising funds for the Historical Society, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of the town of Summit as told through the Carter House Museum and its vast archives. The organization is tasked with raising capital to continue its mission of safeguarding -- and making available to interested parties -- records, documents, maps, books, and artifacts relating to the history of Summit and the surrounding area.

The event is centered around showcasing the best food and beverage venues that the area has to offer with two dozen of the city’s restaurants and food purveyors on hand serving up their most popular items. “Each restaurant makes it a point to serve their signature item,” says long-time Summit Historical Society President Patricia Meola. “While it’s by no means a contest, culinary professionals are by their very nature competitive, so putting their best foot forward is just what they do. Foodies will not be disappointed in the offerings, I can assure you of that.”

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This year the committee seeks to attract a new generation of families and kids who will embrace not only the event, but all that it stands for in its goal to preserve the steep history of the area. Local favorite Paul Fessock of Summit’s World of Rock will be performing pop and rock music, and there will be kid-friendly activities to attract the younger set accompanying their parents. “We really want to open this up to a much broader demographic, so bring the kids as we will have plenty for them to do this year,” adds HAT Tavern General Manager Walter Curtis. “The town means a lot to us and our business, and at the center of it all is the amazing history that the town possesses and emanates.”

Also new for 2017 is the donation of a private dinner for 20 in the hotel’s popular HAT Tavern. The private chef-prepared craft beer dinner will be hosted in the HAT’s private Wine Cellar, and is compliments of the hotel and the Kane Brewing Company of Ocean Township. One lucky winner will be selected from the drawing and tickets are just $10 each, with the amount of tickets being offered capped. “This is a fantastic dinner with food prepared by our chefs and great craft beer from a brewer we consider the best in the state,” says Curtis.   

The vibe of the event is something that has always been important to Meola and the Summit Historical Society. “This has always been an event where people from the community come out to celebrate our town and all it has to offer. Of paramount importance to us is that we convey how special it is that we keep this history in place. History is a big part of this country, and Summit and this part of New Jersey in general are an important part of our country.”

When all is said and done, the Taste of Summit is an annual event that is fun and relaxed. “There is no dress code, there are no formalities,” says Curtis. “It is an annual event where people who like eating and preparing food come together to celebrate, and I for one look forward to seeing my colleagues year after year.”

The event this year takes place at the historic Grand Summit Hotel on Sunday March 26 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. Tickets for adults are $50, and children ages 6 - 12 priced at $20 each. For a nominal fee starting at $75, a much appreciated sponsorship for the event is available and your support is appreciated.

For additional information and to reserve tickets, please call the society at 908-277-1747 or visit us at summithistoricalsociety.org.