History and Tradition
From Orchard Park Elementary to Carmel Education Foundation
Taste of Carmel (TOC) began in 2005 as a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) fundraiser for Orchard Park Elementary (OPE), a public school in Carmel, Indiana. Originally designed as an event for OPE families, the event soon became a popular "can't miss" night out for many Carmel Clay Schools parents. By 2014, TOC had become the largest indoor food experience in Hamilton County. Annually, more than 1,000 guests from Carmel and surrounding areas attend to enjoy an array of food and drink while visiting with friends or entertaining clients.
When Orchard Park closed in 2021, Carmel Education Foundation (CEF), the non-profit funding partner of Carmel Clay Schools, was honored to adopt this event as an opportunity to expand the impact to
benefit 16,000 + students in all 15 Carmel Clay schools. Although the branding has been updated, the event will reflect the dedication of the OPE team that built this to what it has become. In honor of their work to support many students who benefited from weekend and holiday food sacks, a portion of TOC proceeds will be allocated to these district programs,
Taste of Carmel is planned by a group of community volunteers, some of whom serve on the Carmel Education Foundation board of directors, some of whom have planned Taste of Carmel for years, and some who have joined for the first time. Together, their ideas and work make this a premier Carmel event.
Carmel Education Foundation
Formed in 1966, the mission of CEF is to support Carmel Clay students in academic achievement and lifelong learning. We do this by raising funds to support innovation in classrooms, to foster safe and positive learning experiences for all students, and to provide scholarships for continued education. Learn more about our programs, meet our board of directors, and see our work in action here.