Gear up for the fifth annual Taste of South Routt

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— There is something fascinating about South Routt County. It might be the diversity of the different communities down there, the quintessential localness of people or even some of the most beautiful open spaces in the county.

In fact, in many ways, a trip to South Routt, where coal and cattle are still just as important as skiing and snow, is a trip to a culturally authentic Colorado small town before the resort industry took over.

Planning for one of South Routt's biggest days, the fifth annual Taste of South Routt, which showcases the small-town culture of the area, is nearly complete.

"It's still just small-town country fun," co-organizer David Bonfiglio said.

The idea is to maintain South Routt's mountain-town culture in the festival and invite folks from all around the county to experience it.

It may be a small town, but the event has grown quite a bit since it started. Last year, an estimated 800 people stopped by a Taste of South Routt. This year, Bonfiglio said the number might break 1,000.

The basic equation is the same every year. Restaurants and other businesses in South Routt set up booths around Decker Park in Oak Creek to sell food. Choices usually include burgers, barbeque, pizza and corn on the cob. Someone even made some trout patast year. There's also a beer garden with a variety of brews to wash down all that grub.

In the past few years, organizers have found ways to ensure children also have something to do.

The local fire department parks a fire truck at the festival to spray off kids in what they call "The Wall of Water," and numerous children-oriented booths are set up to keep young-uns entertained.

"We have expanded some of the kids' stuff this year," Bonfiglio said.

That means more games for the children this year, as well as the local library setting up a booth where volunteers will read stories to children.

There's also music. This year the local Blue Rooster Band will perform.

"And I tell you, they are good," co-organizer David Moran said.

Moran also is organizing an open stage for amateur musicians to have the opportunity to play a slot at the show.

"It should be a pretty nice deal," he said.

KBCR will have a live remote setup at a Taste of South Routt, and Moran will emcee the entire event.

A Taste of South Routt runs from noon to 7 p.m. June 29.

Plans for more entertainment and possibly a vintage car show are still in the works. More information about the festival will be released in June.

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