GROTON -- At 5 o'clock it became clear that neither snow, nor sleet, nor rain could keep the public from their beloved Taste Of Nashoba, as the vestibule started filling up at the Stone Athletic Center at Lawrence Academy.
The power punch of this snowfall began during the night and continued throughout Tuesday, as the local towns kept the roads cleared while children enjoyed yet another snow day off from school.
Those waiting in the lobby were a joyful group, and when asked what brought them out in the storm, answers came fast. "My wife refused to cook dinner tonight, so we had to come!" "We already bought tickets, so we were not going to miss this, we look forward to this all year!" From a gentleman from Templeton: "This is my first year and just to make sure I have a place to sleep, I brought a sleeping bag in my car."
Happy fans like Groton's Elisabeth Tragash and her daughter, Melanie Kretas, recalled the near 80-degree day of last year's event while they were savoring the luscious lobster rolls from Burtons Grill in Westford. "We like the snow, they chimed, it's nice and cool here. Last year it was so hot we lost our appetite. We're ready to eat tonight!"
Each year the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce throws this fantastic party and local restaurants, and purveyors pull out all the stops to showcase the talents of their staffs.
Sponsors included Marriott Spring Hill Suites, North Middlesex Savings Bank and the Hilton Garden Inn in Devens.
Loaves & Fishes had their inspiring booth, and their work makes everyone grateful and proud that these folks walk amongst us. In 2012 they helped 969 households by providing groceries during 7,600 visits to their pantry, and they welcomed 362 new households this past year. In 2013 they documented a 42 percent increase in families who have needed their services since 2007. Eighty-five cents of every dollar provides direct support to those in need.
Groton-based Dolce Sorpresa, which outputs cakes and sweets with an artist's eye and a master baker's talent, showcased their photogenic masterpieces that tasted as good as they looked. First bites brought many ahs by all.
Restaurants included Bailey's Bar & Grille, Bull Run Restaurant, Bliss Bakery, Dolce Wood Fired Italian Grille, Shaker Hills Country Club, and Vesta Mobile Wood-Fired Pizza, which parked outside, cooked pizza and delivered it inside through a gauntlet of snow to be served still miraculously hot to those who waited.
Bliss Bakery, soon to open on Main Street in Groton, served a heavenly lemon curd square and a chocolate cake amongst their many delights, and they took home the prize for their efforts.
Eleven-year-old Brody Senior Catalano was enjoying the evening as he looked forward to tasting every flavor of Michele's Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn.
Winners: best appetizer, Great American Grill in Devens; Bailey's in Townsend for best main dish and best culinary; best beverage, Bull Run in Shirley; best dessert, Bliss Bakery; best presentation, Burtons Grill in Westford.