Saturday’s inaugural Taste of Summer festival celebrates the best of the region, from its food and live music to the lakeside venue itself: Deauville Island at Emerson Park.
The festival was born, in part, to better utilize the island, said Ed Helinski of Finger Lakes Radio Group, which is organizing the festival through its FLX Events company. Helinski is also a member of the Auburn Rotary Club, which last year held its first Rotary Ribs Rhythm & Blues Festival at the Owasco Lake park. And the chefs who traveled hours there called it “the perfect venue,” Helinski said.
“Downtown (Auburn) festivals are great and we do a fabulous job here, but nothing beats a lakefront festival on one of the Finger Lakes,” he said. “There’s not a better venue.”
Performing will be regional rock cover band The Dean’s List from noon to 4 p.m., and Syracuse classic rock and country band Under the Gun from 5 to 8 p.m.
Among the trucks and restaurants serving food will be Irie Jamaican Queen and the New York State Fair award-winning Tonzi’s Catering Co., of Auburn; Big Awesome BBQ, Cue-Dogs and Cam’s Pizzeria, of Syracuse; “The Great Chicken Wing Hunt” winner Abigail’s Restaurant, of Seneca Falls; Dino’s House of Burgers, of Oswego; and Summertime Bliss, of Palmyra.
“This is something that people in the area haven’t seen ever, or in a long time,” he said. “This is going to have a lot of wow factor to it.”
But FLX Events is already confident enough in the festival, its food and its location that it’s already planning on returning to Deauville Island for two days in 2019, Helinski said.
“Dancing, music and great food on Owasco Lake,” he said. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”