TAMPA, FL (Tampa Bay Sports Commission) – On Saturday, August 23, top restaurant vendors from around Tampa Bay will showcase their best tailgate dishes at the inaugural Tampa Bay’s Tailgate Taste Fest at Curtis Hixon Park. Serving as the unofficial kickoff to the 2014 football season, this event will entertain attendees with tastings of Tampa Bay’s most exceptional tailgate foods ranging from chicken, ribs, sliders, Cuban sandwiches and unique side dishes. The Fest will also feature family-friendly games and live entertainment throughout the day.

“Our community has a genuine passion for big events, football and food,” said Rob Higgins, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission’s Event Development Institute. “We feel Tampa Bay’s Tailgate Taste Fest can become an annual Bay area tradition signifying the start of another exciting football and tailgate season for fans and restaurants.”

Activities are set to get underway at 11:00 a.m. and will run until 8:00 p.m. Admission prices start at $20.00, which includes five samples. Additional sample wristbands can be purchased online or onsite for $15.00. For more information on tickets, including exclusive VIP package options, as well as updates on vendors, entertainment and special guests, please visit TailgateTasteFest.com.

Prospective restaurant vendors are encouraged to visit TailgateTasteTest.com to submit a competition application. The vendor application deadline is Friday, August 1.

Tampa Bay’s Tailgate Taste Fest is the latest initiative from the Event Development Institute (EDI). For more information on EDI, please visit GrowYourEvent.com. Additional Fest alerts and information can be found by visiting EDI on Twitter, @Event_Incubator.