Community gathers to experience a 'Taste of La Verne'

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Community gathers to experience a 'Taste of La Verne'
Posted Sept. 17, 2007

A beautiful orange rose, a sparkling clear wine glass and a smile greeted the guests who attendened the 7th annual Taste of La Verne celebration at the La Verne Community Center held on Sept. 11.

With 14 booths lining the hall and filling the room with the delicious aroma of food, it is fair to say that this was the place to be on Tuesday night.
Vendors from Café Allegro, Chili’s Bar & Grill, and Maggie Moos, just to name a few, were all in attendance celebrating the wonderful collection and variation of businesses that the city of La Verne has to offer.

“All the best restaurants in town get to show what they have to offer,” said Brian McNerney, La Verne chamber of commerce president.   

The attendees were able to travel from booth to booth, sampling the authentic foods featured around the world, while listening to the lively and entertaining music provided by The Brats.

“It brings the community together and is very family oriented,” said Alexia Galanis, co-owner of the highly anticipated Angels Place.

Although the night was filled with a lot of fun and laughter, it was not forgotten that the event was being held on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York. 

McNerney explained that after deciding on the location of the venue, he was given a list of possible dates and discovered that Sept. 11 was available.  Following this breakthrough, it was an easy decision for him to make and create a patriotic theme around it. 

McNerney revealed that he had lost two of his best friends in the terrorist attacks and he wanted to honor them and all of the other people who lost their lives that day.   

The room fell silent as all of the attendees stood during the presentation of the colors.  Following the pledge of allegiance, there was a moment of silence held for the victims of Sept. 11 and for the military personnel who are currently serving this country or who have fallen during their tours of duty.

“I like it better than I thought I would.  I wasn’t sure how a day of remembrance would coincide with a celebration,” said Sean Franke, a local businessman. 

Although the theme of the night was remembering Sept. 11, the mood was not solemn.  A man dressed in the familiar Uncle Sam attire wore a large red and white-stripped hat that was lined with a blue sash, walked around and greeted guests while they ate and socialized.  At the same time, a magician wandered from table to table performing his entertaining tricks for the audience. 

As the guests arrived and proceeded along the walkway and entered the hall, they were greeted by a very moving and heartfelt display of pictures highlighting the local men and women who are currently serving in the armed forces.

The Taste of La Verne celebration was a time for the businesses and local citizens to come together and discover what each other has to offer.  By attending this event, several business owners expressed their gratitude for exposing their businesses and marketing to a new and diverse group of people. 

“We have not attended this event before, but we will be attending in the future,” Galanis said.  

Cerina De Souza can be reached at