BLAINE, Minn. – Summer Food Fest is an activity between Free 2 Be, the Metro North Chamber, and Toys for Joy, 3 non-profits in the area and it’s a way to bring community awareness to these non-profits, build a relationship in the community, and highlight the great restaurants in the area as well. Laurie Higgins, President of the Metro North Chamber, explained more, “This event, it brings awareness to the chamber first of all, outside our usual network. It lets the whole community know that we’re here providing resources for the business community. It also raises funds too. It is a fundraiser and so, it helps both Free 2 Be and the Metro North Chamber at the end of the day by providing resources so we can fulfill our mission.”
Restaurants packed the park and attendees were sure not to go hungry, as food was everywhere. “We have about thirty restaurants that are all bringing some samples from their restaurants, you know, what they want to show off. People are welcome to get as much as they want. There’s food, there’s beverages, there’s activities for kids. We have a jumpy house, a DJ, clowns, face painting. So it’s really a very family-friendly event and they can spend a whole evening here,” said Higgins.
And while all this food talk is quite fun (and honestly, quite delicious), it’s important to know about the charities at this event who have been part of the community for many years and who continue to have an impact on area families. “Free 2 Be has been a very valued member of the Metro North Chamber for a long time. They provide transportation to area families in need and, if you’ve never seen them give away a car, it makes me cry every time I see it. And so, they actually give away a car at this event as well, so people can just see the impact it has on area families. We also partner with Toys for Joy and they give toys to area children in need at Christmas time. And so, we encourage people to bring a toy, a new, unwrapped toy. In return, they get a ticket for a free soda as a way to say thank you for their contribution to the children of this area. And so, we thought it’s just a great way to bring it all together, the businesses, the families, the children. It’s just a nice event to kind of bring it all in one spot,” Higgins explained.
Free 2 Be hosts the Taste of Blaine at the National Sports Center each February, so if you missed Summer Food Fest, be sure to put Taste of Blaine on your calendar.