More than 1,400 people waited patiently for the doors to open at the Rahway Civic Center on Saturday, April 12. They had gathered in search of delicious food, desserts, fine wines, sophisticated spirits and craft-brewed beers.
They weren’t disappointed.
Springing into Spring
The 19th annual edition of Rahway’s Taste of Spring was a festival of gourmet delights from over 40 local restaurants, food distributors, cafes, caterers, bakeries, breweries and liquor stores. The sold-out crowd swarmed through the civic center—a sea of happy faces packed shoulder to shoulder—to sample an array of delicacies laid out before them. Along with the food and drink, this event served as a celebration for the people, businesses, and diverse cultures throughout Union and Middlesex counties.
Rahway Arts and Business Partnership
Amy Garcia Phillips, artistic director of the Rahway Arts and Business Partnership (RA+BP), and one of the organizers of the Taste of Spring, gave credit for the event’s success to her associates: Matt Dobrowolski, the founder of the event, and Ann Marie Williams, Rahway’s economic development coordinator, were largely behind the venue’s success and large turnout. Dobrowolski is on the board of trustees for the organization, while Williams is the managing director and Phillips is the executive director.
“Rahway has so much to offer,” Phillips said. “We’re located in the heart of New Jersey. This event showcases the many businesses in our area.”
RA+BP is going 10 years strong, and according to the organization’s website, the mission of the group is to “Create a diverse, vibrant, and economically and socially sound community within Rahway; develop activities and programs that encourage the long-term success of the art community; promote awareness of the value of the arts and directly support arts programs that encourage the diversity of Rahway citizens and businesses and their participation in the successful development of Rahway; and create and encourage an atmosphere that builds strong arts organizations and increases the community and business appeal of Rahway.”
The event sparkled as a culinary paradise and magnet for foodies throughout the region. The many stations at the Taste of Spring featured fish, chicken, lamb and beef tacos, roasted chicken, ribs, savory stews, vegetarian creations, cheese, coffee and pastries, salads, seafood, along with wine, liquor and beer.
All About the Community
As Phillips mentioned, the Rahway community has much to offer, beginning with the colorful shops and restaurants that line the revitalized downtown business district, anchored by the Rahway Junction train station. The station is well situated as the connection point for New Jersey Transit’s Northeast Corridor and Jersey coastlines.
The Union County Performing Arts Center, the historic 18th century Merchants and Drovers Tavern Museum, and a spacious, modern public library top the list of Rahway’s cultural offerings. Outdoor green spaces and wildlife refuges include the Rahway River Park, along with the nearby the Hawk Rise Sanctuary in Linden and the Ernest L. Oros Park in Woodbridge Township. Rahway’s history dates back to Revolutionary War battles. The area was home to farmer and patriot Abraham Clark, whose signature is on the Declaration of Independence.
Sponsors for the Rahway Taste of Spring included the following: Witty’s Fine Wine & Liquors, Shop Rite, Wizdom Media, Northfield Bank, the County of Union, Landmark Companies, The Gramercy of Rahway, Reva Rahway, Metro Rahway, Visual E-FEX, the Watt Hotel, Village Green Realtors, IMM eSign, Station Cab, Contento Dance, Heather Dube, the Litehouse, Water’s Edge, Mr. B Printing and Graphic Design, River Place at Rahway, Suez and TB Bank.
Rahway Arts and Business Partnership
1544 Irving St., No. 204
Rahway, NJ 07065