Taste of La Porte showcases local options
La PORTE – People have heard of the Taste of Chicago, but there is another "taste" turning heads and gathering some attention. Since its inception six years ago, Taste of La Porte has been providing people a place to enjoy great local food and live music.
On Saturday, Taste of La Porte returned to the La Porte Civic Auditorium delivering a night of music, laughs, drinks and a whole lot of food.
“We had five food vendors today,” said La Porte Downtown Director Thaddeus Cutler. “In the past, we have upwards of 10. This year we had four cancellations at the last minute. There were a couple of health issues. Everything worked out great though, people generally have a good time.”
Three area bands came out to play at the event. The first band of the night were a duo called Nate and George, who were followed by Stealing the Farm - a group that consisted of several members who live in the La Porte area. The last band of the night was called High Noon. According to Cutler, High Noon has a large following in the area.
“We always try to make sure the entertainment is top notch. This year it has been, and that is just great,” he said.
For the first few years, Taste of La Porte was held on the lawn of the La Porte Chamber of Commerce, but Cutler stated trains would pass by so close people could not hear the bands that were playing. Cutler wound up speaking with Brett Binversie of the La Porte Civic Auditorium to see about making a switch.
“When Brett took over as Civic director, I said, ‘Hey, could we move the Taste to the lawn of the Civic?’ So this is our third year of having it here, and it has worked out beautifully,” Cutler said. “It is perfect. We have parking lots all around, we have a nice spot to section off and, in the case of inclement weather, if something really heavy moved in, we could literally pull people into the Civic until it passed. Thats why we moved it here, and it has been great.”
Binversie, who is the director of the La Porte Civic Auditorium, also asserted the event is a co-partnership between him and the La Porte Civic Auditorium, and Cutler and Downtown La Porte. He also stated that both he and Cutler would like to see the event grow over the course of the coming years.
“Thaddeus has worked diligently to try and involve as many La Porte area restaurants as possible, but a lot of them don’t do a lot of off-site catering, or had other functions going on and couldn’t spare the time and manpower,” Binversie said. “So we decided the second year it was here to try and make it more La Porte County, just trying to get more people in. One of the things we talked about for next year possibly is changing the name up a little bit, making it a block party or a neighborhood festival with Taste involved.”
According to Binversie, one of those ideas is holding an event similar to the taste in the winter inside the La Porte Civic Auditorium. According to Binversie, local food vendors might be more available to participate in an event that is not in their prime season.
“We have been bouncing around some different ideas,” he said.