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GROTON — A feast for the senses, the fifth-annual Taste of Nashoba, held at the Lawrence Academy Gymnasium on Tuesday, March 28, and hosted by the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, surpassed expectations.

With 33 vendors on hand, the 923 arriving guests were greeted with a feast for both the eye and the palate that invited exploration from table to table. Frequent “detours” became necessary, due to the wafting of tempting aromas or the glimpse of a special treat just too good to pass by. Neighbors and friends enjoyed a casual evening chatting, sampling and admiring the considerable culinary talent present in the Nashoba Valley.

A new and popular addition this year was “Taste Spotlight,” two scheduled presentations where guests could sit down and learn from the masters. Alycia Fenner, clinical nutrition manager for Nashoba Valley Medical Center, discussed a Mediterranean diet, while Levent Bozkurt of The Stonehedge Inn in Tyngsboro and Chef Jay Murray of Grill 23 in Boston reviewed pairing wine with food.

New this year, a number of non-profit organizations partnered with the Chamber in selling tickets for the Taste of Nashoba. For each ticket sold, the non-profits will receive a percentage of the ticket proceeds totaling over $2,500.

Also this year, guests voted for “People’s Choice” awards. Best presentation went to Nancy’s Airfield Caf of Stow; Best beverage was awarded to Wachusett Brewing Co. of Westminster for their Blueberry Ale; Main Street Caf of Groton won for best appetizer; and Crumpets of Pepperell was awarded best dessert. The big winner for the evening was Devens Grill, of Devens, winning the best entr e for their Devens Chicken (a mix of chicken, tomatoes and garlic).

Once again, Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteered to staff the coat check.

Everyone left inspired and full, and armed with a list of places to visit in the next few months. The goal next year is break the 1,000 mark in attendance.