A scene for the 2014 Taste of St. Mary’s. Photo by Ron Bailey

Leonardtown, MD — Expect it to be bigger and better this year. The annual Taste of St. Mary’s sponsored by the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce will have more vendors and more for the family to do, according to Chamber President/CEO Bill Scarafia. The event is Sunday, Sept. 20 from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Leonardtown Square.

Admission and parking for the event is free. In addition to the many food vendors, there will be activities for kids such as an art project conducted by Wine and Design, face painting and a moon bounce. And entertainment will be provided by Wiskers at noon and GeeZer at 2:20 p.m.

But the main event is the food provided by area restaurants. Scarafia says that restaurants are a significant part of the Chamber and the hospitality industry and tourism in general “is a growing percentage of our economy.”

But Scarafia says the hospitality industry can’t make a go of by solely depending on visitors. They need the local populace to survive. And he said the small, non-chain restaurants in particular need local support because they don’t have the big corporate backing to overcome the downs in an up and down economy.

So the Taste of St. Mary’s is important for the chamber’s restaurant members to give them an opportunity to showcase what they have offer to the local community. In turn it’s a great opportunity for the community to sample what the restaurants have to offer at a very reasonable price.

At the start of their eating tour participants purchase tickets; food is available throughout the town for various amounts of tickets. It is entirely possible to get a great sampling of food and go away full for under $20.

According to the St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce website, the following food vendors are participating this year: Anita’s Cake Shop, Bear Creek BBQ, Boomerangs Original Ribs & Seafood, Brusters Real Ice Cream, Cafe des Artistes, Cameron’s Smoothie Shack, Cocoa’s Authentic Caribbean Jerk, Days Off Deli and Grill, WJ Dent & Sons/Chief’s Bar, Dunkin’ Donuts, Flex Island Jamaican Grill, Linda’s Cafe/Earth 2 Table Catering, McKay’s Market & Cafe, Mission BBQ, Morris Point Restaurant, N & N Oriental Market & Carry Out, Nicolletti’s Pizza, Noodles & Company, Port of Leonardtown Winery, The ex, Sonic and Stoney’s Clarkes Landing.

Drawings for chances to win gift certificates from area restaurants and caterers will be held throughout the afternoon.  For more info email info@smcchamber.com or call 301-737-3001.