by: BARBARA NGUYEN / MyFoxTampaBay.com
photos by: AL FREDERICK
TAMPA - Over 1,200 people were in attendance at MacFarlane Park in Tampa on Saturday for the 2012 Flavor of West Tampa.
The event was sponsored by Sweetbay Supermarket and Jerry Ulm Dodge, along with other local area businesses. Event planner Monica Varner coordinated this year's events, activities, entertainment lineup.
This was the first year that the event was held in its new location at MacFarlane Park in Tampa.
Tampa Natives Show executive producer Mario R. Nunez kept the crowd informed as emcee of this year's event. CODA SOUND provided stage sound for all the entertainment groups. Local businesses came out to introduce their service/products to those who attended.
One of the main attractions was the BEST of West Tampa food contest. Local restaurants including La Teresita, Lorna's One Stop Jerk Center Restaurant, Pinar Cafe, Holy Hog BBQ, Cacciatore and Sons, Santos Frozen Foods, Sam & Libby's Montauro Ristorante, and Mr. Empanada participated in this event.
Local celebrity judges included Rey Montoto, director of operations for Sweetbay Supermarkets; David Gonzalez Jr., representing Jerry Ulm Dodge; recently re-elected state Representative Janet Cruz from District 62; Charlie Miranda, chairman of the Tampa City Council, and singer/entertainer Andrew Arena.
Here are the results in case you missed it: Winner in the best food category went to Mr. Empanada. The winner in the desserts category went to Sal & Libby's Montauro Ristorante for their famous cannoli.