Gilbert Finally Gets a Food Festival

Gilbert isn't exactly known as a foodie mecca (unless you're talking Mickie D's as purchased by a minivan-driving mom at a drive-thru). Perhaps that's about to change.

Score $2 food and drink samples at the Essence of the World Festival from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, April 16 at Gilbert Town Square. It's the first year for the free event, which comes as a prelude to Gilbert's annual Global Village Festival benefiting the Sister Cities program. In keeping with the cross-cultural theme, there will be foodstuffs from around the globe. Grab a cold Kiltlifter from Four Peaks' beers-on-wheels truck or enjoy samples of Australian, French and Italian vino from local wine vendors.

Ok, ok, Essence isn't exactly Devoured or Scottsdale Culinary Festival, but it's still a boon for Gilbert. I about fell off my bar stool laughing when a friend dubbed Chandler the next Valley hotspot -- that is, until the Taste festival premiered last fall and a sign went up advertising the upcoming arrival of Studio 54. Now that Scottsdale and Phoenix's respective culinary scenes are on the rise, maybe it's time for Gilbert and the rest of the East Valley to get some foodie love!

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