Make your way to Grand Junction's "Taste of the Grand Valley" this Monday and you'll find the best restaurants, caterers, and food venues in Western Colorado dishing out samples of their magnificent cuisine. While you're enjoying all the tasty, you'll be benefiting the United Way of Mesa County. Here are five reasons you should attend.

Put simply, you purchase your tickets and then embark on a delicious journey enjoying food from a vast array of Western Colorado food venues. It's fun! If you've been to the event before, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you haven't, don't let it pass you by.

There's no guarantee the "Dancing Bacon" will return for the 2019 event, but it's definitely a possibility. What can be guaranteed is the presence of the best food venues in Western Colorado, all in one place at one time. Here's a partial list of this year's exhibitors:

  • Four Winds Coffee & Tea
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Old Chicago
  • Enstrom Toffee & Confectionery
  • Famous Dave's
  • The Ribber
  • The Zesty Moose
  • Mesa County Cattlewomen
  • Be Sweet Cafe & Bakeshop
  • Spaghetti Mill
  • Cowboy and the Rose
  • Zoup!
  • Colorado Q
  • Gumbo Lov
  • Flying Pig
  • Gelato Junction
  • PizzAmore'

You'll find samples including barbecue, desserts, juices, gourmet coffee, pizza, and other area delights. With your ticket purchase, you'll have full access to samples from all of this year's participants.

Need more reasons to attend. Here are my top 5:

  • You might just find your new favorite restaurant
  • It really is the "social event of the season" in my opinion
  • You'll discover food venues you didn't know about
  • You can ride the free shuttle from Lincoln Park
  • You're bound to find new food favorites

For some Western Colorado residents, this is an event they look forward to all year. Check out Greg Achord, a more-than-satisfied attendee.

The 16th annual Home Loan Taste of the Grand Valley is Monday, February 4, from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Meyer Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the University Center at Colorado Mesa University. A word to the wise - this event can really fill up (typically at least 1,200 people), so get there as early as possible.

Save money and get your tickets in advance. Get your tickets at Monumentaltix.com, Enstrom Candies, and Home Loan Insurance. Advance tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for Senior, Military, and Students; and kids 6 and under get in free. Ticket prices go up to $5 at the door.