HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The Hartford Taste Festival is underway. The two-day event showcases Hartford’s small businesses, food, and music all in one place.

It was packed all day on Constitution Plaza on Friday. The hope is to bring people back to Hartford and show what the city has to offer.

There’s food, drinks, music, and fun.

“It’s a blessing and I’m grateful to be here. All these wonderful people, the crowd. It gives each business exposure to new people and new clients. I just love it,” said Chris-Ann Miller, Owner & Founder of Ital Juicery.

The two-day event, presented by “The Hartford,” is expected to draw in thousands of people from across Connecticut and the surrounding regions.

“It’s just a fantastic opportunity to come out, enjoy the beautiful weather, and show our support for the small business community,” said Sarah Morin, Assistant Director of Community Relations for The Hartford.

The community has faced immense challenges because of the pandemic.

“We were open for lunch before COVID, now we open at 3. Just trying to get out into the community and let them know we’re still here,” said Vito Fornarelli, Fornarelli’s Ristorante & Bar.

At the festival, there are dozens of food vendors and musicians being featured.

“One of the things about Hartford I find is you don’t know about stuff and then there’s a new thing. And this is a great opportunity to see all of the new stuff in one place,” said Stephanie Johnson.

The proceeds of the event will support Connecticut Foodshare, which supports food pantries across the state.

“It really is a win, win, win. It’s a win for the people. It’s a win for the City of Hartford and a win for Connecticut Foodshare,” said Jason Jakubowski, President & CEO of Connecticut Foodshare.

Nearly 500,000 people in Connecticut are food insecure. Connecticut Foodshare works to provide nutritious food to those in need.

“With the price of gas, we are a truck-based business. Our trucks are out there in the community every single day. Being able to garner some funds from this will certainly help us do what we do,” Jakubowski said.

If you’re interested in attending the event, it’s happening on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.