ELKHART — If you like your food to be served with a side of flowers, get ready: the Taste of the Gardens is coming.
The fourth annual event will be held at the Wellfield Botanic Gardens and will feature more than 20 local restaurants. It will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Some of the restaurants include 523 Tap & Grill, The Vine, American Expresso Catering, b on the river, Between The Buns, Chubby Trout, Fat Tomato, Between The Buns, The Matterhorn, McCarthy’s On The Riverwalk, Great Wall, La Esperanza, Lucchese’s, Martin’s Catering, McCarthy’s, Sports Time Family Pub & Grill, Texas Roadhouse, Bonnie Doon, Suga Rush Desserts and Mod Mex. There will be alcoholic drinks for sale as well. More than 5,000 people attended last year’s event.
Marketing chairman Barney Ash said he hopes 7,500 people attend this year’s event. Organizers have increased the number of artists from about 70 to more than 120.
The evening will also include music from Whistle Pigs, Paul Decker and The Real Deal, Michael Kelsey and Rafael Chavez, The Elkhart Symphony, The Blue Road Band and Vibe Nation.
Ash said that the gardens have become one of the major tourist attractions in the area.
“It’s a real drawing card for Elkhart,” he said.
As part of the celebration, there will be a dedication of four new gardens. They will be the Spring Garden, sponsored by Art Decio; the Lotus Creek Garden, sponsored by the Kurt Janowsky Family; the Waterfall Garden, sponsored by Scott & Kim Welch and the Visitors Cottage sponsored by Dick & Linda Armstrong.
“If you’re ever angry or upset, just come sit next to this creek, and you’ll cool down,” Ash said of the new Lotus Creek Garden. The Waterfall Garden will be the first one of its kind in Wellfield, and Ash said the cottage will have facilities such as changing rooms for both the bride and groom.
Ash credited the donors and the success of events like Taste of the Gardens with helping to grow and maintain the gardens.
“Someday we want that entire 18 acres to be filled with beautiful gardens,” he said.
He said that they have almost every Saturday filled next year with weddings. They plan on building a wedding chapel and an amphitheater to help draw more people.
Tickets are $5. Proceeds from the event go toward maintaining the Wellfield Botanic Gardens.
For information call 266-2006 or go to www.wellfieldgardens.org. The gardens are at 1011 N. Main St., Elkhart.