THE Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival is returning for a 31st year on Sunday, October 27th, providing your yearly fix of delicious goodies from the Congregation Mickve Israel.
“We have potato latkes, deli meats, stuffed cabbage, challah from Gottlieb’s, honey cakes, hamentashen, sizzling sephardic lamb,” says Lauri Taylor, one of four event chairmen.
This is just a small portion of the vast selection provided at this festival, all nestled under an estimate of 60 tents on Monterey Square.
“Most of our food is made by our congregates and served by members of our congregation. About 90% of our congregation participates in one way or another, whether they’re preparing stuff ahead of time or serving at the booths. It’s a big event for us, as well as an outreach to the Savannah community to come and enjoy the day with us,” says Taylor.
Obviously, the festival is a huge commitment for the congregates, and a lot goes into the planning and execution of the event.
“Even though it’s only a 4 hour event for the public, it’s a year-long event for us. Starting in June it gets on heavy time and when come October it’s almost a daily working for people in some aspects. It's a tremendous undertaking for everyone, and a really tremendous undertaking by about a dozen or so people,” explains Taylor.
“This is our third year back in Monterey Square. That’s where we started, then we moved it to Forsyth Park. The logistics are so much easier in Monterey.”
“We start setting up the festival at about 6:00 in the morning with a crew of Cadets that come and help us, as well as our crew from the temple and volunteers. We set up usually by 10:30, and the festival starts at 11. We close off Gordon Street, we close off Wayne Street, and then Drayton, Whitaker and Taylor are open,” Taylor states regarding the logistical efforts.
Regarding what you’ll experience, there will be oodles of entertainment.
“This year we are very fortunate to have the Savannah Philharmonic. Members of the Savannah Theatre are performing again, which is always great, and Maxine Patterson School of Dance too. We have some individual performers along the way too, so there’s music the whole time and people can dance, hang out, and get some really good food. Most of the food is available to-go, too, so you can take it home. You can buy tickets from the ticket booths, and then you use them for the food. You can use cash or credit card for the tickets and the gift shop that we have.”
When asked about crowd favorites, Taylor said, “With food, it’s definitely the lamb, so that's the one you have to hit early, because it will run out quick. Deli is always a crowd favorite, as are cheese blintzes and potato latkes. We try and make enough food so that we last until 10-15 minutes before the festival ends. The goal is to run out, but have everybody get what they want!”