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About Taste of The New North
 
The Strand Theater Initiative has been presenting Taste of the New North at The Double Tree by Hilton (formerly the Sheraton Pittsburgh North) since its inception back in 2002.  This year’s extravaganza represents the non-profit’s 16th annual event.

Taste of the New North is the brainchild of Strand Board Member Joan Teichart and Nancy Huckestein, the former owner of Huckestein Printing in Zelienople.  When the Initiative was first formed in 2001, the group was looking for ways to raise money and bring awareness to the historic Strand, which despite a long history, had fallen on hard times and been shuttered since the early 1980s.  The non-profit Strand Theater Initiative was created with the goal of resurrecting the historic former cinema as a state of the art cultural center serving the North Pittsburgh Region.

Joan had organized a similar event when she served on the Board of the Zelienople Historic Society: a gala event that showcased local cuisine by restaurants from the local area.  Since The Strand Theater Initiative was designed to reach beyond Zelienople’s borders and encompass the entire North Pittsburgh region, the group was looking to expand the number and location of the restaurants that it wanted to invite to participate.  Restaurants, caterers and beverage services from Zelienople, Harmony, Cranberry, Evans City, Wexford and Mars were asked to be involved.

But what to call it?

Many people thought of Pittsburgh’s ‘North’ as towns like McCandless, Glenshaw and Allison Park.  But Cranberry, Seven Fields and Jackson Township were already experiencing explosive growth in 2002 and had evolved into a Pittsburgh suburb all its own.  In fact, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette had established a new, local insert for its newspaper:  ‘The New North’.  Thus, ‘Taste of the New North’ was born.

The first ‘Taste’ began modestly, selling about 150 tickets its inaugural year.  Since then, the event has grown tremendously, and has sold out every year for the past five years.  It now encompasses all five ballrooms of the Double Tree Hilton and showcases top menu offerings by over 20 restaurants, caterers and beverage providers.  Beyond that, Taste of the New North boasts extravagant silent and Chinese auctions with a variety of music by professional and local student groups.

Taste of the New North is The Strand’s largest annual fundraising event and is organized by the tireless efforts of the organization’s dedicated Volunteer staff.  It is co-chaired by Terri Plut and Vicky Dornbrook.

All proceeds support the charitable Strand Theater Initiative, whose successful revival of the historic Strand in 2009, and whose continuing operation is due largely to the success of this annual fundraising event.  Tickets generally sell out a month in advance of the event date, so if you’d like to attend, be sure to contact The Strand Box Office right away at 724.742.0400.  Box Office hours are noon – 4pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

The Strand Theater Initiative is deeply appreciative of the selfless dedication of its Volunteers who work so hard all year long to make Taste of the New North the stellar success that it has become.  We welcome you to this wonderful event and wish you a very pleasant experience.