Get your taste buds ready

Taste of South Routt takes place Saturday

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In case you never have attended, it's time to get out your forks and try a little Taste of South Routt.

The eighth annual Taste of South Routt is from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at Decker Park in Oak Creek.

Karyn Tussey, a member of the South Routt Economic Development Council and a member of the Taste of South Routt Planning Committee, said this year's Taste of South Routt is planning several new events and features.

New this year is a silent auction during which people can bid on a variety of items, including a quilt, woodcarvings, 5 tons of coal, gift certificates and a massage. Also new are free Union Pacific mini train rides for children.

"People come from all over the county to this event because it's so fun," Tussey said.

In addition to the new events, the Taste of South Routt has many booths from area restaurants and stores and a beer garden. The dunking booth will make an appearance again this year, and Tussey thinks that Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman might be dunked, as well as other local officials. Four bands will play throughout the day, offering people a chance to hear folk music, country ballads and rock 'n' roll.

The Soroco High School band will play "musical chairs" during the event. The band will provide the music for their own game. Plenty of booths will cater to children, too, and the Oak Creek Fire District will be there to keep the crowd cool.

There is a $1 gate fee for adults and children older than 12. The booths and beer garden are cash only.

The Taste of South Routt is an annual favorite for people because it brings the community together, Tussey said.

"The community really gets to share and experience each other on a beautiful day," she said.

David Bonfiglio, owner of Bonfiglio Drug in Oak Creek, has been involved in the Taste of South Routt since its inception eight years ago.

"This is all about promoting our local businesses and getting people together in public," Bonfiglio said.

Bonfiglio's favorite part of the event is being able to talk and relax with friends in the unusual, festive setting.

The Taste of South Routt began with a few local restaurant owners wanting to put together an event that would promote South Routt restaurants to the broader community. It was such a success that the Taste of South Routt grew into an event that involves other local businesses eager for exposure in the community.

"It's become something the public looks to as a fun day in the park, and it's a way for our businesses to give back to the community that supports us," he said.

Bonfiglio estimates there will be 16 to 20 booths and that as many as 800 people might come out for the event.

"We draw people from all over Routt County," he said.

Ken DePaul, the president of the South Routt Economic Development Council, is grateful that so many people worked so hard this year to make the Taste of South Routt happen.

"I am blessed with an excellent board around me. They're the real heroes," he said.

DePaul is excited for the new events this year and also is proud of the improvements the Taste of South Routt has made to make the event more accessible. This year, the Taste of South Routt will have shuttles from Soroco High School that will take people to the park to alleviate parking problems and make the event more accessible for people with disabilities.

DePaul also is excited to see the mechanical bull the Egeria Roping Club is renting to raise funds for the South Routt Medical Center.

"This function really brings the community together, and it gets stronger every year," he said.

--To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com

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