Restaurant Showcase's Extensive Bill of Fare

Two military helicopters landed in the San Fernando Valley on Wednesday, giving Encino residents an idea of what is in store at this year's Taste of Encino.

Organizers said they are calling this weekend's 10th annual event "More Than a Taste" because of the growth the Encino Chamber of Commerce-sponsored program over the years.

What started out as a marketing tool for a few Encino restaurants and caterers has become a community event that, while still showcasing restaurants, now benefits local schools, said Pam Campeau, chamber chief executive officer.

A Cobra attack helicopter and a CH-46 Chinook helicopter will be part of a display of military vehicles and equipment open to visitors at this year's event, to be held at the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Center, 6337 Balboa Blvd. The event moved there in 1996 to accommodate the growing attendance, which last year numbered 14,000 people, Campeau said.

In addition to the approximately 25 restaurants, several breweries and wineries will be serving food and drink. The chamber also will offer children's shows, a carnival and live music on two stages.

The event will run from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 general, $3 seniors and children, plus tastes.

Proceeds will benefit 10 Valley schools. In the past five years, Taste of Encino has given $65,000 to schools, Campeau said.

For information, call the chamber at (818) 789-2636.

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