Get a taste of South Routt

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— If you're hungry, taking a bite out of one of South Routt's favorite summer events might be the cure.

The ninth annual Taste of South Routt returns June 25 to Oak Creek's Decker Park. The festive summer tradition will bring back some of the best food in the county, craft and merchant booths, live music and fun and games for the whole family.

What: Ninth annual Taste of South Routt Where: Decker Park in Oak Creek When: Noon to 6 p.m. June 24 Cost: $1 entrance fee for adults; free for children 12 and younger Call: David Bonfiglio at 736-2377 or Karen Tussey at 638-9752

David Bonfiglio, owner of Bonfiglio Drug in Oak Creek, has helped plan the Taste of South Routt since its inception. The event began as a way for local businesses to give back to their customers, Bonfiglio said. Throughout the years, the event has morphed into a social event that brings the entire community together.

"We all get so busy that this is a perfect opportunity to grab a beer and sit down with your neighbors and friends and talk," he said. "People spend hours catching up. That's huge."

Although the Taste of South Routt is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, it also provides a chance to try some great food and play a variety of games.

Bonfiglio said the "usual suspects" --helsea's, Black Mountain Tavern, Antler's and Dinty Moore's restaurants -- will sell prepared foods.

The South Routt Economic Devel--opment Council is sponsoring a beer garden for those interested and of age.

The food booths and beer garden will be cash only.

Karen Tussey, a member of the South Routt EDC who has helped plan the event, said she's eager for this year's celebration.

Patrons will have an opportunity to participate in a special railroad safety program called Operation Lifesaver in which people can sit in a simulated train engine and see what an engineer sees.

"You can actually get in there and pretend to drive a train," Tussey said. "You sit in there just like the engineer would. You have the same point of view. It's going to be a neat addition."

If driving trains isn't your thing, Bonfiglio said local band LiveWire will play throughout the day, and the Soroco High School marching band will lead games of musical chairs.

"That was great fun. It was a huge hit," he said.

The Oak Creek Fire Protection District again will provide the Wall of Water, a nice way for the younger crowds to cool off, Bonfiglio said.

The dunking booth also will be back, and there will be plenty of games and other activities for children, Bonfiglio said.

Taste of South Routt also will feature a silent auction and door prizes that will be given away throughout the day.

Bonfiglio said residents or merchants who are interested in donating items to the silent auction can still do so.

Tussey urges anyone who has not sampled a little South Routt to make the effort this year.

"I think people should definitely add this event to your calendar. It's such a wonderful family event," she said. "It's very relaxing. We take our shoes off and have a great time."

Bonfiglio agrees.

"We've got food booths. We've got games. We've got live music. As always, it should be a great fun day," he said.

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