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Annual stroll draws hundreds

Another successful Taste of the Town Stroll drew hundreds of people downtown Thursday and raised more than $6,000 in food and cash for the New Canaan Food Pantry, according to the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce.

"It was fantastic. It really, really was," Tucker Murphy, the chamber's executive director, said.

Despite a 40 percent chance of rain, which didn't start until the end of the event, at 9:05 p.m., "well more than 500 people" participated in the stroll," according to Tucker. "We were so happy that the weather held off," she said.

As in previous years, the fourth annual event required a donation of canned goods to the town's food pantry. Participants also could buy a pre-packaged bag at Walter Stewart's Market, 229 Elm St., or make a cash donation. Tucker said the majority of people brought canned goods.

"People were really generous," she said. "They brought big bags."

More than 30 downtown businesses, including stores and restaurants, opened their doors to strollers and offered free snacks and beverages and bargains. At the same time, students and instructors from the School of Rock entertained the public outside the New Canaan Music Store, 135 Elm St., with a number of classic rock songs.

"We want to thank the stores that participated," Murphy said on behalf of the chamber. "What they were doing was thanking everybody for supporting the food pantry because no one had to pay anything to be a part of this. They just had to bring an item. Certainly, the stores got people in their stores, which is nice, but they really treated everyone to a fun evening."

Murphy also thanked the "army of volunteers" who helped organize the event, especially the town's chapter of the National Charity League.

"We couldn't have done it without them honestly," she said.

A prize drawing closed the event around 9 p.m. with more than $7,000 worth of prizes, including a weekly blow dry at Le Boudoir beauty salon, 160 Main St., for one year; a three-month membership to Oxygen Fitness Club, 22 Pine St.; sunglasses from SPECS of New Canaan, 17 South Ave.; and many gift certificates.

noliveira@bcnnew.com, 203-330-6582, @olivnelson

Nelson Oliveira

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