Lake Forest has added a food sampling event to the menu of events this year with Taste of Lake Forest.
The Aug. 12 sampling event will kick off the week's seven-day stretch of discounts.
In 2011, more than 220 businesses participated in the free promotion program, according to Jessica Gonzales, an economic development specialist with the city.
Positive feedback from businesses who offered discounts in 2011 prompted the city to again host the program, which highlights local businesses that agree to offer customers a discount on services or products for a week.
Businesses interested in participating in this year's program from Aug. 12 to Aug. 19 must be located in Lake Forest. Local home-based businesses are also welcome to offer a deal or discount. To participate, businesses must sign up online by June 30.
Among the deals offered last year were buy one, get one free or 50 percent off an item or service.
The Aug. 12 tasting event kicking off the week of deals will be held from noon to 3 p.m. in the Towne Centre shopping center in Foothill Ranch. Only businesses participating in the Shop and Dine program are eligible to be a part of Taste of Lake Forest.
A range of local restauranteurs are expected to participate, playing on the theme of this year's Shop and Dine: Passport to Savings.
Tasters will get to rate the samples and the three top restaurants will be recognized at the kick-off.
Lake Forest shoppers will see Shop and Dine posters popping up in the windows of participating businesses by the end of July.
A booklet listing deals thoughout the city will be mailed to approximately 30,000 addresses in Lake Forest. Businesses offering a deal will also get to put up a temporary banner announcing it to prospective customers.
Shoppers will receive a stamp for each deal they use. At the end of the week, those with the most stamps may win a prize by turning in their booklet at the Aug. 19 celebration wrapping up the program.