The 12th Annual Taste of Alhambra returns to Downtown Alhambra this Sunday night at the Civic Center Library. Taking place at the same time and place as last year, this food fest contains more than enough food & drinks to satisfy all the attendees. As a 21 & over event, guests can find a handful of ways to get their drinking on, yet admission only includes unlimited drinks while the supplies last. Beyond the main stage where the tribute bands play, guests can receive samples of beer and take the glasses home too. Other than those, guests may not really take anything else away except for marketing material from individual booths.

Looking back at last year, Taste of Alhambra hosted lots of corporate businesses on board, which amounted to about half of the booths present. Any city aiming to throw a taste of their city event should bring on only local businesses, but instead end up inviting plenty of corporate businesses and claiming those as the local flavor. I hardly see how Little Caesar’s represents the local flavor of Alhambra. Historically speaking, Alhambra has not come up in people’s minds as far as trendy restaurants, bars, or pubs go. Alhambra holds many corporate businesses, and then many hole-in-the-wall businesses. In the past few years, a few trendy places opened up, such as 38 Degrees, Boteco, and Grill ‘Em All, bringing new life to a city dwelled by mostly Asian and Hispanic/Latino citizens. Other local businesses in Alhambra and surrounding cities have capitalized on the importance of social media, and use those tools to attract new customers as they revamp their product offerings and make other general improvements. Many local businesses in Alhambra have made an effort to improve the city’s economy by attracting a younger customer base, so why did the organizers of Taste of Alhambra not invite more local businesses over the corporates?

Many attendees still had a great time at last year’s Taste of Alhambra. The tribute bands that played entertained a gathering audience throughout the fest, and the unlimited food & drinks kept everyone happy with their stomachs, though not as much so with some of their livers. This year, I would love to see the Taste of Alhambra feature many more local businesses, and severely tone down the corporate business involvement. If you have a suggestion of a favorite local business to invite, contact them by visiting their website, lined above. Keep in mind that they do not mind inviting local businesses from surrounding areas; for example, they invited Fluff Ice from Monterey Park.

For Best of the Fest, I select the Kalua Pork Taco from Shakas Hawaiian Flavors.

The 12th Annual Taste of Alhambra starts this Sunday, June 1st, at 5pm and runs until 8pm at the civic center in Downtown Alhambra. Admission costs $50 presale or $60 at the door. Guests should park in any of the various parking structures in the area, such as the one on the corner of 1st Street and Main Street. The entrance to the festival lies on 1st Street – once you find the civic center’s library, the entrance awaits around the corner. Keep in mind that since no one under 21 may attend the festival, all guests must show a valid ID to enter. Dress for warm weather, as this event takes place outdoors with limited shade, and the temperature will reach the mid 80’s that day. Remember to stay hydrated too – the combination of warm weather, salty food, and alcohol can quickly dehydrate any attendee.

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