My neighbor, Nancy Silla, helps organize the Taste of Sheridan at Thorne-Rider Park each year. The event highlights the restaurant choices in town and let’s everyone see and learn about some of the projects happening in the northern neighborhoods.
I’ve attended the Taste of Sheridan nearly every year, partially because I can hear the live music from my house and it always lures me in. But the event also reminds me a little bit of home.
“Taste of” events aren’t unique to Sheridan. When I was in school in Chicago, I always attended the Taste of Chicago. It was a huge event that included free concerts and a wide variety of foods from around the city.
Deep dish pizza, Chicago style hot dogs, Eli’s cheesecake — all of the wonderful foods that were wonderfully bad for you were made available in small portions. All the taste, less guilt — at least that’s what many people told themselves as they scarfed down plates of food.
I liked to attend for the food, yes, but the live music and festive atmosphere were usually what drew me downtown. We used to sit for hours in the grass and listen to the free live music.
Taste of Sheridan has a similar draw. You can hangout in the soft grass of the Thorne-Rider Stadium baseball field. You can listen to the live music provided by Canary Joe, InstaGators and SideTrack. You can mix and mingle with other residents in the glorious August weather.
Then there’s the food. At least nine restaurants have signed up to participate. Pie in the Sky/Red Velvet, Killy’s Smokehouse and Deli, Frackelton’s, Blackstone Grill, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Bighorn Mountain Catering, the Sheridan Senior Center, El Tapatio Dos and Mountain Rose Bakery. Some of Sheridan’s best will tease your taste buds.
If you weren’t planning on going, you should. You’ll also get a chance to learn a little about the North Main Association and what they do. The NMA promotes economic development efforts in the neighborhood and board members and volunteers with the organization will likely play a large role as the north end of town continues to develop.
A high-tech business park, a relocated highway interchange, plans for the First People’s Center for Education facility, the continued growth of Sheridan College’s animal science facility and the development of a multi-field baseball complex — the north end of town is a happening place.
This year, I’ll be there with others volunteering as a judge for the event. Rough gig, right?