Ben Yates, from Black Mountain Tavern, grills skewers of barbecued meat during the 10th annual Taste of South Routt event at Decker Park in Oak Creek last year.

File Photo

Ben Yates, from Black Mountain Tavern, grills skewers of barbecued meat during the 10th annual Taste of South Routt event at Decker Park in Oak Creek last year.

Chewing the food and the fat

Taste of South Routt event is for socializing as well as dining

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If you go

What: 11th annual Taste of South Routt

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: Decker Park, Oak Creek

— The Taste of South Routt is good food, good fun and a great chance to catch up on the local rumor mill, South Routt Economic Development Council secretary Karen Tussey said.

Bonfiglio Drug owner David Bonfiglio started Taste of South Routt 11 years ago, as a way to advertise and get people interested in the restaurants in Oak Creek. Since then, it's grown into one of the largest community events each year, attracting nearly 1,000 people for a day of fun in Decker Park.

"It's predominantly people from South Routt getting to see everyone," Bonfiglio said. "They can have a beer and some good food, or they can just sit in the park and chew the fat."

"Everyone has so much fun - it's such a social thing," Tussey said. "It doesn't matter where you are, if there's a chair open, you can just sit and chat."

Sign-ups for the horseshoe and volleyball tournaments will be available at the park Saturday. Giveaways will go on every 30 minutes throughout the day, and the silent auction will close out at 5:30 p.m.

The entrance fee, as well as proceeds from T-shirt sales, the beer garden and the silent auction, will go to the South Routt Economic Development Council.

LIFT-UP of Routt County will man the dunk tank this year, and the money raised will stay in South Routt, Bonfiglio said.

For South Routt's younger residents, Smokey the Bear, Lasso the Cowgirl and the Sweetland Miniature Horses will make appearances. Oak Creek Fire Protection District's "Wall of Water" - a giant sprinkler that shoots water about 25 feet in the air - also will be on hand to delight audiences.

"Sometimes, the fire guys will pick it up and aim it at the kids, and it's so strong it just knocks them over. They love it," Bonfiglio said.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203 or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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