Aug 16, 2015

Take a Taste

 "Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious."  — Ruth Reichl

Millie has been asking me for a year now.

An entire 365 days of, "Can we go eat at the festival?" "The Taste of Champaign?" I ask. "Yeah!" she exclaims. It only comes once a year, but it's seared into her memory as a highlight of summertime. Maybe it's because we've been going long before she was even born. Central Illinois is rich with special events, but this is one we never miss.

The Taste of Champaign-Urbana has always been a favorite in our family. It's become a summer weekend-long tradition full of crafts booths, pony rides, inflatables, concerts and fun acts, activities for kids, and most importantly, a smorgasbord of some of the best restaurants in Chambana.

I like to map out my stops ahead of time, and I can already tell you I'll be stopping at the Minneci's booth for some bruschetta, the Pop Stop for a fun popsicle, Manolo's for a dessert empanada, Millie will drag me to the Kona Ice truck for some shaved ice, and Walter will beg for some popcorn from the Champaign County Historical Museum booth.

But though some parts of the weekend are for fulfilling those traditions, I love that it's a fun way for families to try something new. Millie had her first pony ride last year, and was beside herself with excitement. We watched a kids' concert that my dad, in an overzealous display of hand waving, volunteered me for as a guest on stage. I tried my first sip of Thai tea, and it was heaven. And it was Walter's first time to run through giant bubbles and ride on our shoulders through West Side Park. 
I'm sure that Sky, Millie, and Walter would all have a different part of the Taste of C-U that they like best. Mine is that we get to have a weekend of entertainment and delicious food that isn't forgotten like a typical restaurant meal would be. Instead, we make memories that last us until the next summer.

The Champaign Park District was kind enough to provide $25 in Taste tickets for the winner of this giveaway! The tickets can be picked up at the festival. Just enter below for a chance to win! And either way, make sure to visit this year's Taste of C-U. I'll say hi- but only after dinner, of course.

August 21 from 5-11pm, and August 22 from 11am-11pm. 
It's held in West Side Park,
 steps from downtown Champaign, Illinois.
Post your photos to Instgram using the #TasteCU hashtag- I'll be doing the same!

Disclosure: I was provided with Taste tickets from The Champaign Park District in exchange for this blog post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

1 comment:

  1. I've never eaten from any of the local food trucks so I would visit one of them!


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