Residents and visitors explore downtown Johnstown for the 8th Annual Taste and Tour | New

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — In groups of two, three and six or more locals, locals and visitors moved from business to business in the city on Saturday for the eighth annual Taste and Tour Rediscover Downtown Johnstown event.

“It’s nice to get together with family and friends and go see businesses you’ve never seen before,” said local resident Steve Urban.

He and his wife, Amy, have attended several of the previous Taste and Tour events, hosted by the Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership, but missed out in 2021.

The couple said it was fun to get out and explore downtown.

Amy Urban added that she noticed new stores opening which was not the last time they participated.

Judge Michlena, a Johnstown native now residing in Virginia, said he liked Taste and Tour because it gave him the chance to meet people he hadn’t seen in a while while simultaneously exploring stores and restaurants in Johnstown.

“It’s just awesome,” said his wife, Demet Michlena.

This is the duo’s second tour.

Demet Michlena said they’ve been looking forward to it since the last time they were in town.

Taste and Tour attendees checked in from 2-4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Johnstown-Downtown before hitting the streets of the city where they were able to tour the 36 participating businesses until 8 p.m.

Visitors were split into four starting areas around the city and were able to explore at their own pace without a set itinerary.

If they collected four stamps on their cards in each zone, they qualified to win the grand prize, which included over $2,000 in prizes from local businesses.

Each of the city’s shops and restaurants presented a variety of offers on Saturday for their Taste and Tour guests, such as special prices, food samples, live music and more.

“The idea is to bring people downtown,” said event co-chair Doug Puchko.

There were 700 tickets sold in about two hours this year.

In 2021, it took about 12 hours to sell out. Tickers were available for a month before they all disappeared in 2020, Puchko said.

“It gets bigger and better every year,” said event co-chair Kayla Stephenson.

Michelle St. Clair and her daughter, Laura, couldn’t wait to get out and see what Johnstown has to offer.

“We love it all,” Michelle St. Clair said.

The couple had their eyes on the new Main Street clothing store, Elevate, and also wanted to stop by the Flood City Cafe.

AJ Eutin, co-owner of Elevate, was thrilled to participate in the event for the first time. The store opened earlier this year.

Before the 4 p.m. start time, she was putting the finishing touches on the store, which included setting up a photo booth.

“I’m just excited and waiting for people to show up,” Eutin said.

She has spoken highly of the Taste and Tour concept and would like to see it extended to a second day or a separate event later in the year.

“It’s a great way for people new to town or new to town to learn about new businesses as well as businesses that have been here for years and all that downtown has to offer” , said Eutin.

Stacy Bartlebaugh-Gmys and Ron Gmys of Pittsburgh were impressed with the many offers.

Bartlebaugh-Gmys is from the area and said she remembers when there was little available in downtown Johnstown.

As she and her husband reviewed the map of participating businesses, they were happy to see so much development in the city.

David H. Henry