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Come hungry to the 15th annual Taste of Nashoba Valley

PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

GROTON — March 20 may mark the first day of spring but the annual Taste of Nashoba Valley, this year on March 22, always makes spring official.

This year the event, now in its 15th year, is sponsored again by the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Great American Grill, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, and the Devens Common Center. Lawrence Academy’s Stone Athletic Center in Groton will again host this always-overflowing event from 5:30-8 p.m.

Owner and Chef Mark diCicco has three restaurants, all in downtown Ayer, and each one will be entering.

“In addition to the possible bragging rights I will be providing bonuses if any of our staff’s entries are selected as a winner,” he said.

Pam Mariano of Bailey’s Bar & Grille in Townsend and Mariano’s in Pepperell, has an excited staff on her hands. “Both of our restaurants will be entering,” she said. “We’re not sure what the dishes will be but whatever they are they will be delicioso.”

Joann Upton, the general manager of Shaker Hills Country Club, confirmed the club’s participation.

“Right now we’re searching for a new chef so we’re not sure of what we will be presenting — but we think we will be showcasing a signature Shaker Hills beverage.”

Photographer Mike Campbell of Platinum Promotions will be taking commemorative photos all evening, available for sale to the public.

The Nashoba Valley Chamber’s Taste Committee has partnered with local nonprofit organizations, offering those selected the opportunity to sell tickets while raising funds for their organization.

This year there are nine local organizations including:

* Ayer Business Alliance (at J&S Business Products, 17 Main Street, Ayer);

* Ayer Fire Department (at Ayer Fire Department, 1 West Main Street, Ayer);

* Ayer-Shirley Lions Club (contact Jen at North Middlesex Savings Bank, Shirley);

* Friends of the Lawrence Library (at Lawrence Library, 15 Main Street, Pepperell);

* Friends of the Reuben Hoar Library (at Reuben Hoar Library, 41 Shattuck Street, Littleton);

* Groton Fire Department (at Groton Fire Department, 99 Pleasant Street, Groton);

* Groton-Dunstable Booster Club;

* Westford Historical Society & Museum (at 2-4 Boston Road, Westford);

* Roudenbush Community Center (65 Main Street, Westford).

We anticipate about 40 food and beverage vendors to participate in this year’s event,” said Melissa Fetterhoff, president and CEO of the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Vendors are beginning to sign up.”

For each ticket they sell, the ticket partners will receive $5. For the past several years, the Nashoba Valley Chamber has consistently given more than $2,500 back to the community through this event.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Seniors are $25.