By Emily Williams
This summer, the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce has invited locals to visit eateries throughout the city with a “Savor the Summer” contest.
The contest kicked off on May 23, the final day of school for Vestavia Hills City Schools students.
Participants are challenged to visit as many food vendors in the city as they can – including fast food shops, ice cream shops, grocery stores, delicatessens, fine dining restaurants and others.
While updating the chamber’s brochure for new residents, chamber Executive Director Karen Odle said she and her staff noticed how much the list of dining establishments has grown.
“Then we had four open around the same time, but it was so close to the holidays. So we waited until after the holidays to think of how we could best promote having over 100 restaurants in Vestavia Hills,” Odle said.
The contest is a new addition to the chamber’s ongoing Shop Dine Play program, an effort to support Vestavia Hills’ local businesses.
Eating at a local restaurant not only supports the establishment’s ability to provide jobs and services to citizens, it adds to the local economy through the tax dollars they pay.
“We want to encourage residents and non-residents alike to support our restaurants during the slow time of the year,” Odle said. “Thus, we came up with this fun event to get folks to frequent our restaurants during the summer.”
To participate, pick up a receipt envelope at the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce, City Hall, Library in the Forest or new Merkel House.
According to Odle, Savor the Summer will continue until school is back in session for the 2019-20 year.
Throughout the competition, place original receipts from the restaurants visited in the envelope and turn in the envelope at the chamber offices no later than 4 p.m. on Aug. 5.
Winners will be announced Aug. 9 during the annual Back 2 School in the Hills event.
First prize will be a $500 Visa gift card; second place earns a $300 gift card, and the third-place winner will receive a $200 gift card.
The contest is open to residents and non-residents of the city. Only one entry may be submitted per household, and only one receipt may be submitted for each meal.
Additionally, the chamber will highlight a Restaurant of the Week on Facebook. Participants who take a selfie at the establishment and post it on the Chamber Facebook page will be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift card from the restaurant.