This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Taste of Rensselaer

The annual Taste of Rensselaer had wonderful weather and a big crowd on Saturday night. It took place on the two streets adjacent to the Carnegie Center, and this year there were 14 food booths. People buy tickets at 50 cents each, and all food items are priced in terms of tickets. The event is sponsored by and is a fund raiser for the Prairie Arts Council. In the picture below we are looking down Van Rensselaer street, which is in front of the Carnegie Center.
Taste of Rensselaer is a bread and circuses event--there is both food and entertainment. When we arrived, the local band "The Nerds" was playing. They were set up at the intersection of Van Rensselaer and Angelica.
Meanwhile, there was a pottery demonstration that had some youngsters fascinated. And why not--making a pot appear on a wheel is an almost-magical event.
Taste of Rensselaer is the final event to the week of Art Camp, a lengthy series of art classes and workshops for both children and adults. The Fendig Gallery had a showing of what had been done in those workshops.
These seem to be the efforts of fairly young people.
I bet the kids who did the batiks had fun.
Back outside, meat was on several grills. Generally the waiting lines were quite short, and the food was good.After the Nerds finished playing, it was time for the dance classes, also part of PAC, to show their stuff.
Meanwhile, the next band, AcoutsiCats, was setting up on Angelica Street.
The Fendig Children's Theater will be presenting their play, "Thoroughly Modern Millie " in two weeks, so they did a little promotion. The singers, however, did not have microphones, so were hard to hear. They will sound much better when they have microphones and are performing indoors.

The Carnegie Players were advertising their upcoming play, "South Pacific," with their food booth. Their "South Pacific Pulled Pork Sandwich" came with a little decorative parasol. I asked for a napkin because I did not recognize that the very pretty napkins with palm trees sitting right in front of me were napkins. I was looking for something plain.

Did I mention that there were a lot of people there? The weather was warm, so people were wearing shorts and short-sleeves. I kept wondering if I was the only person in Rensselaer who does not have a tattoo. (Note to the paper--there has to be a story possibility there somewhere. A contest for best tattoo? A contest for worst tattoo? Asking people on the street why they got their tattoos? I am not quite sure what the best angle is, but tattoos are part of everyday life and that deserves some notice.)
Finally it was time for the final act, AcoustiCats, to perform. They had a smooth, mellow sound that I liked a lot.
Taste of Rensselaer is like thousands of small-town festivals and events that take place all over the United States. An event does not have to be huge, like the Taste of Chicago or a state fair, for people to get together and have a good time. However, for these events to take place, some people have to spend a lot of time and effort organizing and doing invisible background work to make everything run smoothly.

What did I miss? What would you have mentioned if you had been writing about this year's Taste of Rensselaer?


Desert Survivor said...

Wish I could have been there, sounds like a great time.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how Deb Brown pulls this off every year when there is no rain. She is a gem, the best. Deb makes this event happen, and it appears she does it effortlessly and seamlessly. The hard work is behind the scenes. We are lucky to have such willing leaders and workers in our community.