Restaurants to Face Off to Benefit Hightstown Bridge

Saturday's ‘Taste of Hightstown’ will be the main fundraiser for the Greenway Bridge Committee to rebuild the pass over the dam.

Hightstown’s will be transformed this weekend into a culinary battleground as seven borough restaurants compete for the  cup.

“When we originally talked about fundraisers, we wanted to plan one big event that’d be kind of in the park and focused on where bridge is going to go,” said Greenway Bridge Committee member and event organizer Darek Hahn. “This was the one.”

On Saturday, from 3 to 7 p.m., ticket-holders will be let into a cordoned-off area of the park to sample small plates from these local restaurants: , , ,the , , and .

From 4 to 6 p.m., guests will sample each dish and have it marked off on their ballot. Once they’ve eaten their fill, they’ll be able to check off which restaurant gets their vote, and then once the three-judge panel has tallied everything the winner will get the cup.

“It’s about 18 inches tall and it says 'Winner of Taste of Hightstown,’” Hahn said. “The plan is it'll be engraved, and if one of the other [borough] committees wants to keep this going… another can it pick up and use it as an annual fundraiser.”

The menu wasn’t yet set when we spoke, but Hahn said the assortment would include mini spinach pies.

“It’s really a people's choice award,” Hahn said, noting the judges will only vote to break a tie.

In the case of rain, which has been plentiful this week, the has offered to host the event indoors. If that happens, Hahn said he’ll put up signs directing people down the street (and post a notice here on Patch).

In addition to the food, local bands will provide music and visitors will be able to bid in a silent auction, with items ranging from big-ticket items like vacation packages to Florida and New Orleans to more local things like event tickets and gift certificates. (Scroll down for the full auction list.)

The fundraiser is the brainchild of bridge committee member John Hofstetter and is hoped to be the biggest event in the the $55,000-60,000 needed to restore the bridge over the Peddie Lake Dam. The footbridge spanned the lake, leading from Memorial Park to the , for 80 years until it was taken down for safety reasons about two years ago.

A recent inspection confirmed an already-anticipated need to reinforce the waterfall side of the two supports for the bridge. “The old bridge sat on three pillars so there was less weight” on each one, Hahn said. “Now we’re spanning more distance, so they have to support more weight.”

So far, Hahn says the committee has raised “just short of $45,000” for the effort through a combination of donations and other fundraisers. The committee is counting on Saturday’s event to make up a large portion of the $10,00-15,000 still needed.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, but attendance is limited to 300 people and about 250 tickets have already been sold. To get your ticket, e-mail Darek Hahn at darekleo@yahoo.com or buy them at borough merchants , and .


The following items will be up for auction:

  1. Vent Cleaning Service Gift Certificate donated by Advanced Aardvark Cleaning Co.
  2. Beauty Services Gift Certificate donated by Astrid Lopez @
  3. Computer Diagnosis & Computer Accessories donated by Blue Cranium Technology
  4. 2010 WSOP Deluxe Playing Card Set donated by Cara Gails
  5. Photography Services donated by
  6. Gift Certificate donated by
  7. Silver Decoy Winery Basket donated by
  8. Dry Cleaning Gift Certificate donated by
  9. Family Portrait Session donated by
  10. Salon Services Gift Certificate donated by Mercedes Final Touch
  11. One Foursome @ Peddie Golf Club donated by
  12. Set of Four Mugs & Embossed Basket donated by
  13. Photography Services donated by Pierini Portraits
  14. Manicure Gift Certificate donated by
  15. Shoe Gift Certificate donated by
  16. Floral Gift Certificate donated by
  17. Baseball Game Tickets donated by The Trenton Thunder
  18. Ten massages (Sets of 2, 3 & 5) donated by Structural Integration
  19. St. Pete’s Florida Vacation Package provided by Don Cesar Hotel & Spa
  20. New Orleans Vacation Package provided by Maison Dupuy Hotel

This story was corrected at 10:44 a.m. to reflect the correct start time of the event. It will begin at 3 p.m.

Stacey K May 19, 2011 at 01:39 PM
I thought it was 3pm - 7 pm? http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=832267309#!/event.php?eid=183534751692065 Glad to see this posted, as I just yesterday reminded some DT hightstown.org mebers to post the event here!!
Downtown Hightstown, Inc. May 19, 2011 at 01:54 PM
Stacey, you're right the event starts at 3. Food tastings are from 4-6. I'll send a message to Geoff to correct it. Thanks.
Geoffrey Wertime May 19, 2011 at 02:46 PM
My mistake! It is indeed 3-7.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »