The entertainment scheduled for Thursday’s 9th Annual Taste of Northfield has Ray Coudret’s stamp of approval.
Coudret, a musician in his own right, believes that taking the entertainment aspect of the annual downtown Northfield festival that features delicious food and beverages from local businesses and many children’s activities to a new level will only draw more people to an “already fantastic event.”
Coudret said that the idea behind signing Chad Johnson, Barb Piper, Relativity (featuring Toby and Sandy Jensen) and the band Why Not? (featuring Carey Langer) as the entertainment lineup in the beer tent was to get more people involved in the annual downtown event.
“By having a variety of acts, we hope to draw a variety of people,” said Coudret, who is on the Taste entertainment committee. “There will be a huge variety of song selections and styles. All four are people you will want to see. I’ve never seen a show with all four of these acts together.”
Taste of Northfield has been called a downtown block party and a big downtown picnic, among other things. Food is king as several Northfield restaurants offer food and drinks from their menus.
Organizers like those monikers as they feel they accurately describe the feeling Northfielders have when they come downtown and around Bridge Square, including Sesquicentennial Legacy Plaza along the Cannon River, to take in the popular festival.
Jerry Bilek, the president of the Northfield Downtown Development Corp., says the 2014 version of Taste will not only feature more entertainment on two stages (beer tent and on the Showmobile), it looks as though Northfielders will have better weather than in the past (one year had to be postponed because of heavy rainfall). He’s also excited about added activities for children and families.
“There’s a lot going on,” said Bilek, owner of Monkey See, Monkey Read in downtown Northfield. “We enhanced the entertainment and added more food vendors and activities for kids and families to keep it fresh. I think the town really enjoys this event. I look at this and all of the events and festivals and culturally they just enhance our town.”
According to the release sent out by the NDDC, performances on the City of Northfield Showmobile will be by long-time favorites Anna Marie Mitchell and The Bridge Square Band.
There also will be a bank raid by the James-Younger Gang, and new this year, there will be a local talent show from 7:30-9 p.m. on the Showmobile stage.
Local restaurants will be set up around Bridge Square and the Wine and Beer Garden will be on the Legacy Plaza next to the Cannon River.
For kids and families, the Cannon River Watershed Partnership will be offering Rain Barrel Painting and BikeNorthfield will be providing bike tire repair hands-on training. The popular MOM Brands’ Create-A-Snack is also back again this year. All of the kids’ activities will be located together on Water Street, between the post office and the riverside park.
“We really like to bring visitors to Northfield and residents to downtown and give them a ‘taste’ of our great town,” said NDDC Executive Director Ross Currier. “The Taste is a community-scaled event that highlights local food, local music, and local fun and has something for everyone.”
Reach Managing Editor Jerry Smith at 645-1136, or follow him on Twitter.com @NewsNorthfield