Photo by Matt Stensland
Eight-year-old Greta Thurston gets a bird's-eye view of the Taste of South Routt from a fire truck ladder bucket Saturday afternoon at Decker Park.
Oak Creek The Taste of South Routt was great in 1997, and as the years have gone by, the food and the people have only gotten better.
"I'm having a fabulous time," Oak Creek resident John Ives said Saturday. "I've been here since the beginning, and it just gets better and better every year."
Hundreds of people turned out Saturday for the 11th annual Taste of South Routt in Decker Park, from local old-timers and young families down to Betty and Chuck Sweetland's 4-week-old miniature horse, Dolly - who just may have been the youngest attendee.
Bonfiglio Drug owner David Bonfiglio started Taste of South Routt primarily as a way to advertise and celebrate the restaurants in Oak Creek. Since then, it's grown into one of the community's premier annual events.
Food still plays a central theme at the event, with drugstore employees manning the snow cone bar and Mugshot owner Jane Sindell serving up baked goods. Scattered across the park, hungry South Routters dug into pulled pork sandwiches from Black Mountain Tavern, egg rolls from Chelsea's Restaurant and Dinty Moore's pizza by the slice.
Attendees spread out across Decker Park, relaxing with friends in the shade and pushing their kids on the playground's merry-go-round.
"Everybody's smiling, so we must be doing something right," South Routt Economic Development Council secretary Karen Tussey said as she manned the silent auction.
Proceeds from entrance fees, T-shirt sales, the beer garden and silent auction will all go to the South Routt EDC, to continue its local business advocacy and scholarship efforts. LIFT-UP of Routt County, which manned the ever-popular dunk tank, will make sure its proceeds stay in South Routt.
As many as 1,000 people were expected to turn out at Saturday's Taste of South Routt.
Kim Miles was minding a posse of six children Saturday, some hers, all sporting face paint and throwing poppers at the asphalt.
"These little ones can't throw them hard enough to make 'em go," Miles said.
The kids, most of them dripping wet, were mulling around excitedly surrounding one of the day's top attractions - bucket rides on one of Oak Creek's fire engines, offering primo views of the festivities of Decker Park and the adjacent creek.
"All the kids have been in the sprinkler," Miles said. "Some of them even went in in their jeans."
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