2017 Taste of Bessemer sees “awesome” growth

Dozens of vendors and patrons packed the Main Hall of the Bessemer Civic Center for the 2017 Taste of Bessemer.

Officials with the Third Annual Taste of Bessemer and Business Expo said the 2017 event held at the Bessemer Civic Center on April 20 was the biggest and best one yet. An estimated 700 attended the event, which featured 62 vendors from a variety of restaurants and businesses from throughout Bessemer. One word seemed to resonate among those who attended: Awesome! “What an awesome event,” said Bessemer Mayor Kenneth E. Gulley. “We just want to commend our Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce for putting on such an event. “Those of us who have been here for all three years have watched it grow and we look forward to future growth,” he said. The Taste of Bessemer started in 2015 and has grown in size each year.  Attendance for 2017 was up 40 percent compared to last year. “This is the largest one we have had thus far,” said City Council President Jesse Matthews. “We want to continue to see it mushroom.” The Taste of Bessemer allows restaurants and other merchants in the city an opportunity to showcase their products to potential customers, said Bessemer Area Chamber of Commerce president Latasha Cook. On hand were well-known Bessemer brands such as The Bright Star, Bob Sykes BBQ and Alabama Splash Adventure. Also on hand were vendors from up and coming Bessemer area restaurants and businesses, all eager to share their products and services with potential customers. Patrons were able to sample foods from locally-owned restaurants and talk with other Bessemer merchants about the products they offer. Cook said next year’s Taste of Bessemer will probably need to be expanded into additional areas of the Civic Center, especially as more businesses in the city take part in the event. And with more businesses moving into the city, it is hard not expect an even greater turnout in 2018. “Bessemer is on the move and we’re growing, as you can see from the crowd here at the Taste of Bessemer,” Cook said.