The local United Way fund-raising effort will open Tuesday as organizers present “Taste of Ottawa County.”

The annual event offers local restaurants and businesses an opportunity to put their culinary skills on display and tempt the public palate with favorite local flavors.

“The Taste of Ottawa County will be our kick-off event and we hope to have a turnout of more than 600 people,” said Sarah Jane Johnson, executive director of the United Way.

Doors will open from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Miami Civic Center.

For the price of a $6 ticket, the public can enjoy a taste of local cuisine provided by a host of area vendors including Buffalo Run Casino, Bussey's BBQ, Chapter's, Charlie's Chicken, Downstream Casino, High Winds Casino, INTEGRIS Catering, Miami News-Record (serving jambalaya), Milagro's, Montana Mike's, Pizza Hut, Waylan's KuKu, and the Wyandotte Nation Casino.

“This will be a fun way to kick off our 2008-2009 campaign of $232,000. We would like to thank the restaurants and businesses that make this event possible,” said John Lomax, United Way President.

Tickets may be purchased at the door for $6 per adult and $4 per child.

For more information, contact Sarah Jane Johnson at (918) 533-8677.