Keller Citizen

Keller announces changes to spring festival

An incomplete version of this story was published in a previous edition. The complete story is below.

The city of Keller has announced changes to a large spring festival -- including a new name -- scheduled for next month.

The event formerly known as ‘Zestival’

The festival now is called “Taste Keller,” and will now be a one-evening party featuring plenty of food, drink, food competitions, shopping and live music.

“Taste Keller” is set for April 18 from 4:30-10 p.m. at Keller Town Hall’s back patio, 1100 Bear Creek Parkway. The event’s website, www.cityofkeller.com/tastekeller, invites residents to “savor an eclectic menu of Keller favorites -- including the best from Shannon Brewery -- as the sun sets and local country favorites Tyler and the Tribe and headliner Charlie Robinson take the stage.”

The website promotes competitions between some of the area’s best restaurants going “head-to-head to claim the best tacos, margaritas and cupcakes in Northeast Tarrant County.”

Scaled down to one evening

“Taste Keller” replaces the two-day “Keller Zestival - Arts/Beats/Eats,” which the city and many local organizations had been planning for that weekend.

“The city realized that if there was going to be an event that weekend, the city would need to take over a leadership role,” said Rachel Reynolds, public information officer for the city of Keller. “These organizations had a great vision for working together to organize a large-scale community event, but ultimately ran out of time to pull it off successfully this year.”

The organizations -- including the Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce, Greater Keller Women’s Club, Lion’s Club, Keller Rotary and Connect! in Keller -- have agreed to help out at the event as volunteers and will receive a portion of the proceeds, Reynolds said.

Because of time and budget constraints, the city condensed the event into a one-evening festival. Reynolds said the event is geared to be a fun culinary experience, unique from other city events.

“We didn’t want it to be ‘Rock the Park Part II,’” Reynolds said.

Rudy Martinez, president of the Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce, said “Taste Keller” is “more of an adult event,” and it’ll be something to build on.

“It’s going to be a blast,” Martinez said. “We really encourage the community to get involved and help us make this event the best that we can.”

Two festivals don’t become one ‘Zestival’

“Taste Keller” replaces “Keller Zestival,” which was intended to replace “Kellerfest” and “Taste of Keller.”

The idea for “Zestival” was announced near the end of last year, when the city combined two large local festivals — “Kellerfest” and “Taste of Keller” — that had been run by two different local networking organizations.

The Greater Keller Chamber of Commerce had run “Kellerfest,” a two-day family festival, for the past 10 years. It usually attracted about 20,000 people.

The first “Taste of Keller” was a two-day Keller Business Connections event last year that attracted tens of thousands with food and drink samples and activities.

KBC — then a relatively new organization of local business owners to promote commerce and networking — closed its doors suddenly a few months later.

Both events were a week apart in April last year at Keller Town Center.

For 2015, according to the city, KBC -- before it dissolved -- already had reserved the town center for this year’s “Taste of Keller.” The Chamber wanted to have “Kellerfest” on the same weekend. Keller Mayor Mark Mathews stepped in and suggested the events merge with the city’s help, according to the city.

Mark David Smith, 817-390-7808

Twitter: @MarkSmith_FWST

“Taste Keller” details

Pre-sale tickets went on sale Monday General admission prices are $30 -- includes 20 tickets to use on food and drink -- and kids 12 and under are free. VIP tickets, $45, include early admission, souvenir cups, admission to the TacoRita Rumble and Cupcake Competition in addition to the 20 tickets for food and drink.

Tickets at the gate are an additional $5 for the general and VIP admission. Kids are still free. Visa and MasterCard will be accepted.

Parking in the public lots at Town Hall, the Keller Natatorium and in Keller Town Center is free, but $10 valet parking is available. A free shuttle service will be available from Life Church, 1075 Keller Parkway, all evening.

The city encourages residents don’t bring their pets, because of the event’s emphasis on food. Blankets, chairs and outside food and drink are not permitted.

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