ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Elmira’s Taste of Downtown rolled back into town, showcasing the city’s vibrant culinary scene at the Empire Sports Complex. Thursday's event wasn’t just about food, it was for a greater local community cause, fundraising for the upcoming Elmira Street Painting Festival on June 8-9th.

Kyleene Kiah, the Executive Director of Elmira Downtown Development, explained, “Taste of Downtown is a fundraiser for the Elmira Street Painting Festival in June, which is going to be June 8th and 9th. Tonight, we have vendors, food vendors, we have auction and raffle items, we have a bar, beer, wine, and one of our auction items.”
The Thursday night extravaganza spanned two rooms, featuring 15 vendors and a long list of silent auctions. The lineup of vendors was a who’s who of local culinary delights, including Rye Bar, Patrick’s, ILL Eagle, Boricana, Hill Top Inn, Copy Express, Saratoga Eagle, Juice Collective, Taste of Jamaica, David 3D Printing, Meals on Wheels, Ballons by Rankins, Elmira Country Club, and Katt and Keep Beats.
These vendors weren’t just serving food, and they were serving up the Elmira experience to all guests whether they're local or just popped by for a flavorful evening filled with food and friends. Guests had plates full of mac ’n cheese, bruschetta, chicken, and sea salt chocolate chip cookies.
Liz, an employee at Rye Bar, shared, “We are serving our bruschetta tonight. It is a house specialty that we serve every night, and we also have our chocolate chip cookies from our new restaurant.”
The fun didn’t stop at food. The event featured numerous silent auctions and even a unique photo booth experience. This wasn’t your average photo booth, it was a platform that captured spinning videos, allowing visitors to interact with their memories in a whole new way.
Other events coming up include:
  • Downtown Clean Up, May 11th
  • Alive After 5, May-August
  • Wisner Market, May- September
  • Elmira Street Painting Festival, June 8th and 9th
  • Gus Macker, Jule 20th and 21st
  • Trunk or Treat, October 25th
  • Spooky, October 26
  • Holiday Tree Lighting, November 26th
  • Downtown Elmira Holiday Parade, November 29th
Details about everything that Elmira's Downtown Development spotlights and works on year-round can be found here