PILAROS TASTE OF THE DANFORTH 

TORONTO'S FAVOURITE FESTIVAL OFFERS FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
CELEBRATING ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Friday, August 9, 2013 - Sunday, August 11, 2013
The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth 2013 is right around the corner (August 9th-11th). This year is our 20th anniversary and we are planning lots of special activities. Below is a “Taste” of what Torontonians can expect.

I. A “Taste” of What to Expect

Join us in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Pilaros Taste of the Danforth – Canada’s largest (approximately 1.3 million attendees) and most favourite Festival. The GTA lays claim to more than 200,000 residents of Greek ancestry, the third largest Hellenic community outside of Greece. Between August 9th and 11th; everyone who comes to the Danforth gets to be "Greek for the day". But the Festival is much more than the celebration of the Danforth's Greek heritage. It is also a celebration of Canada’s multiculturalism.

Yes, there is Food, Food, and More Food – but there is also much more. There is loads of free entertainment on our Celebrity, Danforth Showcase, and Greek Stages.

a. Celebrity Stage

Our Celebrity Stage will feature several special appearances. We would tell you who, but we are sworn to secrecy. Check back with us shortly.

Check www.tasteofthedanforth.com for updates and announcements regarding the performers and schedules.

b. Danforth Showcase Stage

Our Danforth Showcase Stage features eclectic international music and dance. 
Check www.tasteofthedanforth.com for updates and announcements as to the performers and schedules.

c. Astro Original Greek Yogourt Stage

Our Greek Stage features the finest Greek singers, musicians, and dances on the planet Earth.

Check www.tasteofthedanforth.com for updates and announcements regarding the performers and schedules.

d. Sports Zone

Our Sports Zone features activations and challenges from Toronto’s professional sports teams including the Leafs, Raptors, Argos, and Toronto FC. We also have a special 20th anniversary unique skating experience. See below.

e. Kids Fun Zone  - Sponsored by the Toronto Star

Our Kids Fun Zone will be themed around the War of 1812 and include:

(1)   An exhibition space that visually explores the War of 1812, in partnership with the City of Toronto.
(2)   A professional storyteller will captivate listeners with the legends of the War. 
(3)   Embark on an adventure back in time to the War of 1812. The War of 1812 Photo Experience will digitally transport you into your own souvenir War of 1812 photo.
(4)   "Are You Smarter than an Eighth Grader? – War of 1812 Edition" competition - This fun trivia game challenges participants to see who knows more about the War of 1812.

II. Special 20th Anniversary Celebratory Activities

a. Guinness World Record - World`s Largest Greek Yogourt Bowl

This year, the Pilaros Taste of the Danforth is aiming to go BIG or go home - literally! We have been pre-qualified, by Guinness World Records, to break the world’s record for the largest Greek Yogourt Bowl. The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth, in conjunction with Astro Yogourt, will be building a five foot tall yogourt container, holding over 1, 300 pounds of yogourt. The previous world record was set in 2010, by Fair Cape Dairies in South Africa, with a height of 4.52 feet and contained only 1,100 pounds of Rooibos yogurt.  Join us at 12pm to witness us fill up the World’s Largest Yogourt bowl!

b. Guinness World Record - World`s Longest Zorba Dance        

Continuing with our "go BIG or go home" promise, the Pilaros Taste of the Danforth is inviting everyone to join us in breaking the world record for the Longest Zorba Dance ever. Spanning over two kilometres of the Danforth, we are inviting 10,000 of our friends to join us in our record-breaking attempt. The previous world record was set in the City of Volos, Greece in 2012, with 5,164 dancers. Be a record breaker and join us on Saturday August 10th at 1:30pm!

c. Skating in August on the Danforth? – With a surprise NHL star!

Yes, you can skate on the Danforth in the middle of August at this year’s Festival (we would tell you how but we have been sworn to absolute secrecy – come find out how!). Bring a helmet – we’ll provide the skates. You might even bump into one of your favourite heroes from the Maple Leafs.

d.  “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – Win the honeymoon of your dreams to Greece and the Caribbean.

Come two, come all! The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth will be hosting an exciting "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" competition where lovebirds will send in entries of their romantic proposals. Two winning couples will be sent on the honeymoon of their dreams. Finalists can win either a cruise to Greece from Transat Holidays, a resort honeymoon in St. Lucia, or a stunning 1.3 carat diamond earrings and pendant set from Canadian Rocks (approximate value $4,800). Just who will become the Best Couple of the Year? The world awaits.
 

e. Even more trips to Greece and the Caribbean

Metroland will be handing out our Festival brochures in our estival information booths. The brochures will contain a map of all of the activities, as well as the schedules for all of our three Stages. It will also contain a secret passcode from Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens, which will allow entry into another exciting contest where trips can be won to either Greece, compliments of Transat Holidays, or the Caribbean, compliments of the Saint Lucia Tourism Board.

III. The History of the Festival and the Organization that Runs it

a. History

The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth was initially modeled after the enormously successful "Taste of Chicago". It began as a celebration of Hellenic cuisine and culture. It has grown to become a celebration of both its Greek heritage and the multicultural nature of the City of Toronto. While a number of events and programs are reflective of the area`s Greek roots, the Festival programming and its audience have grown to encompass a much broader spectrum of the Toronto community.

The Festival began in 1994 when a group of restaurateurs on the Danforth tried to come up with ways they could entice people to come to the Danforth and enjoy their amazing Greek cuisine. They decided that rather than advertising individually, they would be better off pooling their resources and advertising together. Rather than suggesting that potential visitors come to eat at one restaurant over another, they decided to set up “tasting” tables - so that individuals could try food fare from a number of restaurants.

In the first year, approximately 5,000 people attended the Festival. Twenty-three restaurateurs participated, selling an eclectic mix of "tastes" from tasting tables. The following year, attendance grew to 100,000. By 1996, the Festival was so large that the Danforth had to be officially closed, so as to accommodate over 500,000 visitors. Today, the Festival has grown to approximately 1.3 million visitors during the course of three days and two nights. They come to enjoy food, entertainment and culture. The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth is one of Toronto`s signature events, showcasing the best our multicultural city has to offer - from music to the arts and from sports to food.

b. The GreekTown on the Danforth BIA

The Festival is run by the GreekTown on the Danforth BIA.

The concept of a Business Improvement Area was created in Toronto, but BIAs can now be found all over the world. In 1970, merchants in Bloor West Village formed the first BIA in response to competition from shopping centers. Toronto currently has 72 BIAs, representing more than 32,000 commercial property owners and tenants. The number is still growing.
The GreekTown on the Danforth BIA is an excellent example of how a BIA can unite local restaurateurs and retailers along a street to promote businesses. The GreekTown on the Danforth BIA is a not-for-profit organization, run by a volunteer board, chaired by Constantine Voidonicolas.

c. GreekTown Gives Back to the Community.

The Festival combines exquisite food, culture and music with extraordinary philanthropy to benefit the local community. Over the years, GreekTown has donated more than $1.5 million to Toronto East General Hospital. Most recently, in 2012, GreekTown generously donated $250,000 to the hospital to enhance pediatric care. This past year, GreekTown also donated two $5,000 SmartBoards to local schools, William McCordic School and William Burgess School, for children with special needs.

The 7th annual Danforth Dash Bed Race is back and takes place on Friday, August 9th to kick off the Festival. The race runs from 1:00pm to 2:00pm and is scheduled to take place just east of Broadview.  Local businesses, the hospital’s Emergency Services and the media will be competing to see who can win the 2013 Golden Bed Pan Trophy.  For further information, visit http://foundation.tegh.on.ca.

 

d. Big Economic Impact for Toronto

In 2010, the Festival conducted an Economic Impact Study.  It was determined that the Pilaros Taste of the Danforth made a significant impact on the local economy that year, generating $32 million in economic activity.  Event-related spending alone supported the equivalent of 158 full-year jobs in a single weekend.  The Festival also generated approximately $4 million in tax revenue. Since then, the Festival has only grown.

The Festival's title sponsor is Pilaros International Trading Inc., a leading importer of Mediterranean food products, primarily olives and olive oil - what the ancient Greeks refer to as "the Essence of Life".

The Pilaros Taste of the Danforth is also supported by the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Celebrate Ontario and the Government of Canada.

Torontonians love the Festival. In fact, in 2012, our satisfaction score was at 97%, and 93% of respondents said that they would be returning this year in 2013.

IV. More to Come

We have a number of additional surprises to announce. It is just a little bit early. Please check back with us to find out what other amazing experiences await Torontonians at Canada’s largest and most favourite Festival. We will also be updating the Festival website with new information shortly atwww.tasteofthedanforth.com.

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For further information, contact:

Howard Lichtman

416 402 4948

howard@lightning-group.com

Features

A look at the Taste of the Danforth through the years.

Click to get a "taste" of what special activities you can expect at this year's festival, its 20th anniversary.

Download the festival brochure to find out how you could enter to win a trip to Greece!