By Amy Wenk
amywenk@reporternewspapers.net

The Taste of Sandy Springs has been cancelled.

The annual event, which features food from home-town cooks and restaurants, had been scheduled for May 1. It will return in 2011, organizers say.

“We are going to postpone it because some of our sponsors had to sit on their money a little bit,” said Sandy Springs resident Linda Randolph, executive director for the Taste of Sandy Springs. “We decided we would work with them in the timeline they could do better.”

The event costs about $60,000, she said. The money covers the expense of tent rentals, security and a music stage. The event is organized by volunteers.

Major donors said they couldn’t afford to contribute to the event this year.

“They all said in different ways the same thing, ‘If you’ll wait until 2011, we can give you more money and then you can have a larger event,’” Randolph said.

Nancy Goodrich said she won’t be making the big batch of banana pudding she has for the past three years as a Taste of Sandy Springs vendor.

“I’m disappointed,” said the owner of Nancy G’s Café, which is located in the Fountain Oaks shopping center off Roswell Road. “I like to get out among the community and meet and greet my guests.”

Randolph said postponing will give the nonprofit group that runs the event time to revamp its format.

“We are working on even a different site now,” she said.

Since it started in 2007, the Taste of Sandy Springs has been held on different portions of Sandy Springs Circle. It began as a solo event near Lake Forest Elementary School, was part of a regional bike race in 2008, and last year was again on its own. Last year, it charged admission.

“The other location was fabulous,” Randolph said. “It was just a little bit tight.”

She said she is searching for an office park with more space and parking in order to grow the event.

“We may still go back to Sandy Springs Circle, but I’m really trying to find a parking lot of an office building that is not used on Saturday,” Randolph said.

She said the Taste of Sandy Springs’ board of directors soon will hold an update session on next year’s event.

She said volunteers are needed.

Proceeds from the Taste of Sandy Springs benefit three youth-centered charities: the Sandy Springs Mission, the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy and the Northside Hospital Mother’s First program.

“While we regret that we will not conduct the Taste of Sandy Springs this year, wisdom suggests that the event is too special for our community not to assure that it be presented as the premier event that it is,” Board President Gene Jordan said in an April 14 release.