WATERVILLE — The Taste of Waterville on Wednesday will include more than the usual food, fine dining, live music, dancing and children’s activities. This year also will feature an art exhibit in Castonguay Square.

Organizers of the 23rd annual event decided to incorporate local artists into the mix because the annual Intown Arts Festival was discontinued this year, creating a void for artists who want to showcase their works.

“We’re happy to welcome them and we have VIP dining on Common Street next to them,” said Taste organizer Christian Savage, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce program director. “That whole area is going to be a little more elegant than other parts of the event. We’re hoping that this generates some momentum and provides some venues where artists can display their work.”

The art will be on display from 2 to 8 p.m. Several local artists are scheduled to show their works, but there is room for a few more, Savage said.

The Taste, held downtown from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., is presented by the chamber and sponsored by area businesses, hospitals and Colby College. It draws up to 10,000 people from central Maine and beyond.

“It’s great to be one of the largest family festivals in the state, now in its 23rd year,” Savage said. “It started as an elegant, sit-down dinner, and we’ve changed the events. It’s a full family event – food, family, fun. People can come down for an hour and grab a bite, or they can come down for the day. There’s something for everyone.”

The crowds grow every year, Savage said.

“We’re starting to see a reach to the Bangor area, Lewiston, Auburn and even Portland,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is bring people up and give them a taste of what we offer.”

Appleton Street will close at 6 a.m. Wednesday. The Bite starts at 11 a.m., when people can get single food items or a full meal. Savage said offerings will include lobster rolls from Spectrum Generations, pizza from Cappza’s, hot dogs and steak bombs from Bolley’s Fine Franks and cotton candy from the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter.

Live bands will perform from noon to 4 p.m. The Bite, which provides tables and chairs for diners, closes at 10 p.m.

“It’s a nice array,” Savage said. “I think we’re up two or three vendors from last year. Appleton Street will be packed with vendors.”

Business vendors will be on The Concourse from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Main, Temple and Silver streets will close at 2 p.m., with Main Street shut down from Post Office Square to the former Levine’s building.

Restaurants including Amici’s Cucina, Holy Cannoli, Mei Dream, Mainely Brews Restaurant & Brewhouse, the Last Unicorn, Sam’s Italian Restaurant and Pete’s Pig Southern Barbeque will feature food on Main Street from 5 to 9 p.m., as will Inland Hospital, MaineGeneral Medical Center and Oak Grove Center.

The Heritage House Restaurant’s VIP dining on Common Street is an elegant sit-down, four-course dinner for up to 100 people, with fine china and linen. Sunset Greenhouses and Waterville Florist will do the decorating.

A beer garden will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. on the Concourse, just north of KeyBank. Three bands will perform at the garden: at 5 p.m., Mike Reny; 6 p.m., Sharon Hood & Dixon Road; and 8:30 p.m., Sparks the Rescue.

The Taste’s full schedule of events is listed at www.tasteofwaterville.com.