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Taste of Columbus' format changing for 2020
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Taste of Columbus' format changing for 2020

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Crowd of Taste of Columbus

The crowd at the 2019 edition of the Taste of Columbus, which was held at the Ramada Hotel and River's Edge Convention Center. This year's Taste of Columbus will be different due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual "Taste of Columbus" will celebrate its 20th anniversary exclusively online and on the road this year.

Organizers on Friday announced that due the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic making it impossible for a gathering of more than 600 guests in the same location, this year's committee decided to change the format for the traditional beverage and appetizer taste-testings.

In addition to an online auction held Oct. 11, a special passport featuring restaurants and wine and spirit vendors from Columbus and the surrounding area will be sold and redeemable through March of 2021.

Proceeds from both endeavors will be split between this year’s selected recipient, Central Community College – Columbus and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. A nonprofit benefactor is selected each year by the Chamber’s Board of Directors through an application process.

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“Central Community College in Columbus is a tremendous, locally available asset for post-secondary education and adult training,” said Jeanne Schieffer, Chamber president. “CCC was selected as this year’s nonprofit benefactor because of its tie to the mission and work of the Chamber. The college will use the proceeds for student scholarships.”

CCC stated it is excited to help plan the event.

“CCC’s staff has created some unique auction items and exciting, regional packages families and friends will enjoy,” CCC-Columbus President Kathy Fuchser said. “We have everything from a culinary evening with Todd Williams, a nationally recognized artist and former CCC graduate, to a Raider Rex appearance for a child’s birthday party. The auction also includes stay-and-play golf packages, an originally designed wine bar, singing valentines, family zoo packages, home goods, outdoor items and so much more.”

Meanwhile, the “Experience Columbus and the surrounding area” passport will feature some of the best food and beverage vendors this area has to offer along, with the opportunity to redeem the culinary specials into March of next year. In addition to supporting the October event, the passports will make terrific holiday gifts for employees, spouses, and friends.

Passport sales will begin in September along with the launch of a dedicated website for all the silent, super-silent and grand auction items and packages. If you are interested in donating an item or including your restaurant or wine and spirit venue in the passport, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 402-564-2769 or

This year’s event is chaired by Kathy and Dean Fuchser and Karin and Doug Rieger. The 2021 Taste of Columbus recipient is Columbus’ Habitat for Humanity.

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