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Carlos Rivero of Don Quijote Restaurant cooks things up during a Valpo Downtown Dining event.

VALPARAISO — The downtown will be heating up on Sunday with this summer’s hottest culinary event — the Valpo Downtown Dining “Friends with Benefits” Food, Wine & Beer Festival.

Valpo’s top chefs will come together as friends to bring the Region innovative food offerings with specials that include samplings from each restaurant. Included are chef secrets, wine seminars, ice cream and kids activities, numerous musical acts, select craft beer and wine.

The festival is a celebration with good taste, said Carlos Rivero, chef at Don Quijote Restaurante.

The grass-roots event will emphasize downtown Valpo’s culture, uniqueness and good friendships. Participants include Pikk’s, Sage, Bon Femme, Margarita’s, Blue Point, Don Quijote, and Valpo Velvet.

The Friends with Benefits Festival is 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the downtown’s Central Park and Pavilion.

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Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.