BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It was the day before the festival, and all through out the city, local vendors prepared for the weekend’s nitty-gritty. But this is no mythical story, as the Taste of Buffalo is returns this year in it’s full glory.

Over 40 vendors will be back serving their cuisines on Delaware Avenue. From Gelato from Sweet Melody’s to grilled Jerk Chicken Wings from Chef Darian Bryan with The Plating Society, there will be something on the menu for everyone to try.

“I’m so excited to be back doing live demonstrations.” said Chef Darian Bryan, “Just seeing the joy in people’s faces and being able to see them in person. Everyone come and enjoy these delicious bites we will prepare for them.”

Not looking to break your budget? The festival is free of admission. To purchase food and beverages, three ticket stands will be selling $6 sheets of ten tickets. Tickets can also be purchased at participating Tops all weekend until 5pm on Sunday.

Not looking to break your diet? Independent Health’s Health Options at Home program returns to the festival this year.

“Every single food truck and vendor does have a healthy option on sight. We’ve been working with the Taste of Buffalo for over 15 years to make this happen.” Melanie Goehle from the Independent Health Foundation said. “A dietician analyzes the healthy option recipe and makes it more accessible for everyone to eat.”

Taste of Buffalo is not only known for serving staple dishes from around Western New York, but for the community to come together, this year more than ever.

Tops has been the main sponsorship of the event for 19 years. Every year they choose one local charity to donate 100% of their proceeds to. This year they chose Camp Good Days, a camp that gives children affected by cancer, a chance to have fun through activities and adventures.

However, in response to the tragic event that happened on May 14th at their Jefferson Avenue store, they are also placing heart shaped QR codes throughout the event, that people that attend can scan and donate directly to the Buffalo 5.14 Survivors fund.

“We’re just encouraging individuals that are here this weekend to scan the code and give back to the fund.” said Kathy Sautter, Public & Media Relations Manager for Tops, “This way, those individuals can benefit from those proceeds.”

The Taste of Buffalo will kick off Saturday 11am-9pm, and Sunday 11am-7pm. For more information you can head to their website, https://www.tasteofbuffalo.com/

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.