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Taste acquired: 12th Taste of Woodstock event delivers food, art, music and tourism dollars

  • Patricia Liu, left, and her husband Alexander Elder, second from right, of Etna, take in the atmosphere of Taste of Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt., on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. The couple stumbled on the event after learning they were a week early for a beekeeping workshop at Billings Farm. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — James M. Patterson

  • Craig Mackay, of Woodstock, tries to save a chunk of shaved ice as it falls to the ground while holding his daughter Marin, 2, at Taste of Woodstock in Woodstock, Vt., on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. They were sampling the honey and lemon flavor from Ono Woodstock. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/13/2022 10:50:33 PM
Modified: 8/13/2022 10:47:31 PM

WOODSTOCK — The 12th annual Taste of Woodstock brought delectable bites, tunes and art to Elm Street with a large, appreciative crowd Saturday.

Named for the food, the event is one of the top summer events in a town where tourists and locals converge to appreciate local artists, food from throughout the region and a diverse selection of music.

The chalk art event was a big draw with eight artists competing for bragging rights.

Julie Orndorff, a watercolor and ink artist from Cleveland, said she was in town with her husband, Joshy Orndorff, for a wedding.

“My intention was to walk through the Taste of Woodstock and get some food,” Julie Orndorff said.

But her husband suggested his wife fill the last empty spot in the competition.

So, on a whim, she drew a bride and groom standing in the middle of Elm Street, the road on which she was drawing.

It was a popular entry, but the top choice going away was a classic Vermont landscape scene featuring a country road and a barn.

The piece by Emily Burkholder, of Barnard, was the clear choice, said Deborah Goodwin, gallery coordinator at ArtisTree, which sponsored the event.

Burkholder is an oil and watercolor painter who also teaches at ArtisTree. It was her third year of entering the chalk art contest.

Goodwin said the People’s Choice Award is mostly for bragging rights, but it does include a gift certificate for art supplies.

“We’ve been doing this at least 10 years,” Goodwin said. “It’s one of the crowd favorites.”

The chalk art will last, probably, until the next rain, slightly longer than the tunes that echoed up the street as a variety of singers and bands kept visitors’ hips loose as they pursued a selection of food and artistry.

Pizza, popcorn, empanadas, grilled corn, grilled cheese, ribs and shaved ice were all available, along with tastes of spirits, jam and Greek olive oil.

Art and crafts displays drew cards from wallets.

Kit Mead, owner of Crickit Cottage in Woodstock, was doing a brisk business with her hand-painted original home decor items in her fifth year displaying at the event.

Despite calling her art a side business that served as her “happy place,” Mead said the Taste of Woodstock was her most profitable outing.

“Living here, it’s a great event,” Mead said. “It’s one of our top five events. It’s the only event they close the road for.”

Mead said the crowd was big this year, larger than last.

She said the cooler weather — the rain held off despite darkening clouds — certainly brought out more people.

Other groups appreciated those crowds.

Luke Hanson and his father, Rob Hanson, of Woodstock Wheels, were offering e-bike rentals at half price.

Rob Hanson said the crowds were good and they had just sent four bikes out on a one-hour ride.

Next door, Sustainable Woodstock was also happy to be sharing information to a large crowd about environmental, economic and social responsibility. As people dropped raffle tickets to win one of several on-brand items — including a solar-powered bike lock, a solar-powered bluetooth speaker or a solar/hand crank flashlight — members offered information about their mission.

“We’ve had some good conversations,” volunteer Sandy Gmur said.

Wayne Thompson, 80, said he was raised in Woodstock and he’s never missed a Taste of Woodstock event.

“It’s fun,” Thompson said, listing the different music, food and chalk art as his favorites.

“I like watching the chalk drawings,” said Thompson, who is an artist himself. “And it’s fun meeting new people.”

Thompson had run into longtime friend Sara Norcross, of Reading, Vt., and the pair were leaning against a fence, listening to music and catching up.

“It’s nice after COVID to see people together having fun,” Norcross said.

Darren Marcy can be reached at dmarcy@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.




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