GREENFIELD — It’s an event that brings food, light music and the enjoyment of a summer night to downtown Greenfield. The annual Taste of Hancock County returns from 4 to 10 p.m. Sept. 19 at American Legion Place and the Hancock County Courthouse Plaza in Greenfield.
Sponsored jointly by the Greenfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Families United for Support and Encouragement (FUSE), an organization that provides resources to Indiana families raising children with special needs, Taste of Hancock County brings together restaurants, craft beer and live music for this event that has grown exponentially in its four years of existence.
More than 15 food businesses are expected to be represented at this year’s event, which offers samples from each establishment’s menu.
The draw to the event is simple.
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“People come to taste different kinds of food,” said Retta Livengood, chamber president. “People are looking for family-friendly, unique outdoor events.”
Amy Borgmann, development director for FUSE, said planning for the event is a year-long project.
Livengood, Borgmann and crew were pleased with 900 in attendance for the event’s first year in 2012. In 2014, that number doubled.
“It takes a lot of time to find sponsors and participants for the event,” Borgmann said, adding that planning for next year’s event will probably start as soon as the books are closed on 2015.
It’s an event that draws not only Hancock County residents but a lot of visitor traffic from surrounding counties such as Hamilton, Shelby and Marion, they said.
Wristbands are available for purchase for $5 in advance and $7 the day of the event at the chamber, 1 Courthouse Plaza, for anyone 12 and older. In addition to purchasing the wristband, attendees buy tickets for a dollar each, which are then used to purchase food. Food from the vendors is priced per restaurant, costing anywhere from one to four tickets depending on the item.
The tickets also can be used to purchase water, soda or adult beverages from Wooden Bear Brewing Co. of Greenfield, Scarlett Lane Brewing Co. of Fortville, and Easley Winery of Indianapolis. All three businesses will be set up in the beer and wine tent next door to the chamber.
No wristband is needed, however, just to enjoy the music. Starting at 4:30 p.m., Stella Luna and the Satellites will be the opening act for an evening of live music, with Ripple Effect performing from 6 to 7 p.m. as the headliner and The Big 80s closing out the evening from 8 to 10 p.m.
“We hope people will come down and eat,” Livengood said, “but listening to the music is free.”
As a joint fundraiser for both the chamber and FUSE, the event has been very successful, organizers said.
It netted more than $10,000 last year. Both the chamber and FUSE use the funds for program support and general operations including member luncheon meetings and networking events.
The restaurants get a percentage for the number of tickets they take in, Livengood explained, “and the chamber and FUSE split the rest.”
“Taste of Hancock County is just a good night to be in downtown Greenfield,” she added.
For more information, call 317-477-4188 or 317-462-9064.