The third and final installment of this year’s Taste of Downtown, happening on August 24-25  from 6 PM to 10 PM at the Downtown Waterfront, gives hungry and thirsty attendees one more chance to partake of the richness and variety of the Downtown food scene and live music in a summer-friendly community setting.

Once again, entry to the event is FREE! Taste tickets ($1 each) can be purchased and redeemed for a plethora of food and beverage treats at Eventbrite, or on site with cash or credit card. REMINDER: Taste tickets purchased for the May and June Taste of Downtown installments can be used at the August event, and then they expire.

Marketing analytics from the first two Taste events — and lots of great feedback from vendors and attendees — reflect the success and strong rebound of the popular in-person event, which is back after a two-year absence due to COVID.

“Taste of Downtown is hands down our favorite event in Long Beach,” said Holly Losey, Director of Marketing for Cafe Sevilla on Pine Avenue, which served up Paella Valenciana, empanadas and a variety of sangrias at the June edition. “There was an excellent turnout — the biggest that we can remember in recent years,” said Losey.

Anthony Burks, whose Downtown restaurant Padre also participated in the June Taste event, shared Losey’s enthusiasm. “There has been a huge turnout for this year’s Taste of Downtown so far and it has definitely benefited our business in many ways. If it weren’t for events like this bringing the community together, businesses like ours would rely solely on social media and other avenues of advertisement. In reality, nothing compares to the personal connections you can create when you’re in-person and having fun doing what you love most.”

Social media and marketing analytics play a key role in promoting vendors, sponsors, and the event itself; Through the first two Taste events, the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) created over 100 posts on its social media channels which, combined, reached a total of over 232,000 people and generated over 5,000 views on DLBA’s events page.

Sponsorships are still available for the August event at the Waterfront.  Reach out to Justine Nevarez to learn how your business can participate (JustineN@dlba.org).

Ashley Arnold, who owns the pastry shop Ladie Kakes, loves being part of Taste of Downtown, meeting up with old and new patrons after a two-year layoff. “I find the energy to be amazing, and the people are very welcoming,” she said. “The vibe and music are always great, and the community is eager to devour samplings of our menus.”

For Arnold and other local food and drink purveyors, this year’s Taste of Downtown is a reminder of how eclectic and popular Downtown can be.

“Seeing the streets flowing with families, neighbors, and familiar faces displays exactly what matters to us most; Our community, coming together for the love of great food,” said Michelle Kagasoff, General Manager of BO-beau kitchen + roof tap on Pine Avenue. “It is inspiring to feel the love of food still going strong in our city, and to see that amazing food and a sense of community will always shine through. Thank you in advance to everyone who came out and showed so much support to our Downtown food community.”