NORTH ADAMS -- Hundreds journeyed to the north side of Main Street between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday to enjoy food and beverages from 16 vendors, making the 12th Annual Berkshire Food Festival the most successful yet.
"It's nice to see that so many come out and sample the cuisine from our tiny towns of the Berkshires," Veronica Bosley, the city's director of tourism and community events, said Sunday.
Bosley, who organized the festival with the help of numerous community volunteers, said a total of 10,386 tickets were purchased for food and beverages sold at the event.
"We sold 9,995 tickets last year. It was a great day for the festival and a great day for the restaurants," she said.
This was the first year the event was held in September. Originally the festival took place during Wilco's Solid Sound Festival in June, but according to Bosley the busy weekend put a strain on restaurants and shops.
The food festival moved to July, but Bosley decided that was not the best time for it, either. "It is so hot people don't want to eat anything," she said.
Instead, the city decided that fall would be the best time to hold the festival and chose a September date, which allows MCLA students to participate.
"It's a nice thing to introduce them to the community," Bosley said.
Festival attendees purchased $1 tickets at either end of the street, then wandered through three different tents set up with food and beverage vendors, trading the tickets for delicacies.
"This is a fun, family-friendly event that invites people to check us out," Chef Edward "Ned" Smith said, as he cooked chicken wings on a grill at Gramercy Bistro's booth.
The restaurant, which is at Mass MoCA and is owned by Smith's twin brother Alexander "Sandy" Smith, has participated in the food festival every year.
"This just adds to the spirit of the community, and it's a good way to introduce people to your food that might have never been to your restaurant," Edward Smith said.
This year Gramercy Bistro served Korean BBQ chicken wings, tomato brushetta and Vietnamese shrimp salad to festival-goers.
"The Korean chicken wings were my favorite," said festival attendee Jim Bleau, 35, of Stamford, Vt, who was attending the food festival for the first time.
Bleau, who grew up in North Adams, remarked on how empty downtown was when he was in high school.
"It's nice to finally see the town come alive," he said.
The festival drew many returning vendors and several new businesses which used the event as a way to introduce themselves to the public.
"Things are going great," said Leslie Davidson, of Leslie's Humble Pie.
Davidson just started the Valatie, N.Y. based bakery this year and registered for the festival after learning about it on the Internet. Her booth featured slices of sweet and sour cherry pie, chocolate pecan cookie tartlet, savory brie and mushroom tartlet, among other pies.
"Everyone seems to be enjoying the pie," she said.
Dana Masterpolo, of the 1-year-old Cambridge-based Bantam Cider Co., said the company didn't know what to expect during its first year of participation.
The company, founded by Masterpolo and Dana daSilva in 2012, has been brewing and selling cider in the Boston area since 2012, but just started distributing its products in Western Massachusetts a few weeks ago.
The decision to attend the festival paid off, according to Masterpolo: "This has been really positive, we met some great folks."