Q&A: 10th Annual ‘Taste of New Canaan Stroll’ Set for Wednesday


The New Canaan Chamber of Commerce is offering three different walking tours of the downtown for an annual fundraiser that offers participants a chance to sample some of the best local cuisine. The ‘Taste of New Canaan Stroll,’ benefiting the local food pantry, kicks off at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Limited tickets for the “Taste Tour” (10 stops), “Family Fiesta” (six stops) and “Wine Trail” (10 stops) are available through the Chamber website. We put some questions to Laura Budd, the Chamber’s executive director, ahead of this year’s Stroll.

Our exchange follows.

New Canaanite: For many new residents, this is the first summer in New Canaan and so they won’t know much about the Stroll. What are some reasons participate?

Laura Budd: The Stroll is a fundraiser for the New Canaan Food Pantry and a really fun way to take a self-guided tour of downtown New Canaan discovering some of our stores and restaurants.

How popular is the Taste of New Canaan Stroll and how has it evolved since debuting?

This is the tenth year that the Chamber has hosted a Taste Tour of New Canaan at the end of August. When we originally started the event, participants brought food from their own pantry. After a few years we realized that the Food Pantry has very specific needs for the families they serve so it has evolved and now participants make a cash donation in exchange for a map of the stores and restaurants who are handing out free samples. Walter Stewart’s then uses that cash to purchase items off of the Food Pantry’s wish list at cost and delivers it directly to the Food Pantry which is run by New Canaan’s Human Services Department and housed at St. Mark’s Church.

It looks like this year we have not just the traditional “Taste Tour” but also selections for families and wine-lovers. What should those purchasing tickets know about each option?

As the Taste of New Canaan is an event that can be shared by all different groups, we felt it was important to have Tours that will appeal to different age ranges. The Taste Tour is a perfect girls’ night out. The Family Fiesta is short, sweet and designed for families with young children. The Wine Tour is a perfect way to sample some delicious wines before heading out to dinner. Pick your tour, make your donation and meet us Wednesday night August 25th at our sponsor William Pitt Sotheby’s Real Estate‘s office at 26 Cherry Street to pick up your wrist bands and maps. The party starts at 5 p.m. and Sotheby’s office will have music from Nic Depuy and a little something to eat and drink to get your tour started.

What else would you like to say about the Taste of New Canaan Stroll?

We know that residents have enjoyed this event for many years and this year will be no exception. We want to thank the 25-plus business who have stepped up to provide food and wine as a way to thank those who donated to help stock our Food Pantry’s shelves. Please join us on Wednesday night to get to know downtown New Canaan. The Taste Tour has always been a group effort and The Chamber would like to thank our sponsor as well as our Friends at Rock  Paper Scissors Custom Events who created the tours, and of course Walter Stewart’s Market for providing and delivering the food. Rain date is Thursday, August 26th.

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