DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — The Taste of Darlington returned to the track that’s too tough to tame Thursday night.

The annual event raised funds for the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association. The event is the association’s largest fundraiser of the year.

Lisa Bailey, executive director of the DDRA, said about 40 vendors and 1,000 people were expected.

“All of our funds go to downtown redevelopment,” Bailey said. “So come hungry.”

Bailey said local businesses and organizations sent their best cooks to the event to create their finest meals.

“Grilled meats to desserts to catfish stew to fried catfish,” she said. “Pretty much everything you can think of.”

She said Taste of Darlington’s goal was to raise $10,000 to support programs like façade improvement grants and bring more events to the city. She’s excited to see patrons enjoy themselves while raising funds for the Public Square.

“Oh, it’s a great big party,” Bailey said. “Everybody will be just enjoying each other’s company and getting together in fellowship. Then later on in the evening, some folks will be dancing.”

Organizers spent Thursday afternoon tapping kegs and readying the bar. Bailey said Taste of Darlington was originally held in participants’ backyards in the ’80s. Now, though, the city’s largest social event has made its home at the Lady in Black.

“If you’re a NASCAR fan, you get to be where the cars are during the race,” she said. “And of course enjoy adult beverages, as well.”

News13 is one of the event sponsors.