By: Derek Bastien
Taste of Charlotte: Not Just Food
If you haven’t already heard, Taste of Charlotte is this weekend! You probably already know that there is food involved, but it’s actually a pretty large, multi-faceted event full of many different features! Whether you’re looking to take the family, go on a unique date, or just hang out, here’s everything you need to know about Taste of Charlotte this weekend.
1. Uptown Funk (literally)
Taste of Charlotte starts this Friday at 11:00am in the heart of uptown on Tryon St.
• Hours for the event are Friday and Saturday, 11am-11pm, and Sunday, 11am-6pm.
• It’s located on right on Tryon St., taking up 6 blocks between Stonewall and 5th St. (Hint, no you cannot drive through it).
2. The Food
This year there are an incredible 100 Menu Items from over 30 different restaurants in the QC! We’re especially excited to visit JJ’s Red Hots (they are on our EWP Axcess Card that you need to have) for their Chili Cheese Coney or Italian Sausage! You can purchase coins at various stations to use as currency at the different restaurant booths.
3. The Awards
There are six different Silver Platter Awards given during the event, and they are presented at 8pm on Friday at the Main Stage at the intersection of Trade and Tryon. Look out for these Silver Platters displayed on the booths afterwards to sample the winners!
The 2015 Awards and Winners:
1. Best of the Taste: Brazz Carvery & Steakhouse
2. Best Entrée: Queen City BBQ
3. Best Appetizer: McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood and Steaks
4. Best Dessert: Mert’s Heart & Soul
5. Most Unique Taste: Ri Ra Irish Pub
6. Best Decorated Booth: Newk’s Eatery
4. The Cooking Demo:
Challenge Butter is sponsoring a Demo Kitchen at the Event between Trade and 5th St. on Tryon. There will be demos every hour from Taste Restaurants, Publix, Nature’s Path, and the resident Taste Chef Fat Brian! Make sure you find them at booth 613 for a show and possibly a free treat!
5. The Music and Performances
It wouldn’t be a proper block party without some music and performances, right?? Well, there is a full schedule of entertainment:
• The Main Stage at the intersection of Trade and Tryon has a jam packed schedule of bands and performances all weekend long!
• The Community Stage on Tryon and Levine Ave. has an array of live music, performances, karaoke, and even group fitness classes. Make sure you check out the full line-up, so you don’t miss anything you want to see (or participate in!) Pst…there is karaoke on Friday at 7pm.
• There will also be the outside bar Tavern on the Taste on the corner of Tryon and 4th St. They will have their own lineup of music and performances all weekend long.
6. The Activities
“So much space! For activities!”
6 Blocks of Space, in fact. If you have kids, there are a total of 14 kid-friendly activities they can participate in, including a Bouncy Castle, Vertical Rush Slide, Giant Hamster Ball, Bungee Trampoline, Rock Climbing Wall, and more. You can use coins or purchase an all-access $15 pass to participate!
7. The Exercise?
Yep, even at this lovely event where there will be plenty of drinks and food, you can even get your exercise fix! The 3rd Annual Race to the Taste 5K will be held on Saturday, June 11th at 9:00am at the center of the city at Trade and Tryon. Pretty easy directions, if you ask me.
Also, if you’re into group classes, make sure you check out the yoga class on Sunday at 11:00am at the Community Stage, or a couple of their other group classes!
8. The Shopping
Between Trade and 5th St., there will be the Taste MarketPlace. There are a host of shops featuring jewelry, clothes, face painting, gifts and more to provide a boutique, eclectic shopping experience. This is yet another great feature of this event.
9. Free to Attend
While you need to purchase coins in order to sample the different foods at the Taste Restaurant booths, the event is completely free to attend. You can enjoy the music, participate in karaoke, do yoga, and get free samples all without spending a dime. I think a couple of years ago I got a full plastic bag full of Rolaids as the event was wrapping up…haha.
Well, there you have it. Have a blast this weekend, and have a little taste of Charlotte!
Derek Bastien | email@example.com
Chief Business Development Officer at EatWorkPlay, freestyle rapper, expert jokester, and professional socializer.