Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Did you go to these amazing Derby events?

Arts Insider Gioia Patton shares her experience of last year's Taste of Derby Festival and Taste of the Oaks events. Learn more about this year's events at kentuckyderby.com/tasteofderby.

2013 Annual Taste of Derby Festival
Benefiting Dare to Care Food Bank
Story & photos by Gioia Patton/Arts Insider

Taste of Derby 2013 (L to R) Louisvillians Jennifer Meinhart, Brett Oppenheimer, Laurie Oppenheimer, Chris Meinhart, Sara Mills and Julie Cooper

I’ve attended the annual Taste of Derby Festival event, which is the largest fundraising event for Dare to Care Food Bank, for six consecutive years. The thing that stands out most in my mind about this fundraiser (yummy food and beverage samples notwithstanding) is that no matter what time I arrive at its Louisville Slugger Field Hall of Fame Pavilion location, the Pavilion is always jam-packed with smiling ticket-holders enthusiastically waiting in line for samplings from more than 50 of Louisville’s finest restaurants and beverage companies.

Louisvillians Adrienne Garrett (L) and Therese McGuire (R).

(L to R) Louisvillians Audrey Cuff, Annette Ball and Tina Ashby

Renown sculptor Ed Hamilton and his wife, Bernadette.

On a personal note, the first year I attended this event, I had so much fun in the front area of the Pavilion (facing Main St.), it wasn’t until the very end of the evening as the crowd started to thin out a bit that I realized the event actually continued out into the top, covered landing of Slugger Field itself, where one could take her pick of which stadium seat to sit in while eating and drinking.

Alexander & Sanna Sneen. Alexander, who is a native of Norway, and his Finnish wife Sanna moved to Louisville for Alexander's job as Brown-Forman's new marketing director.

Louisvillians Sarah Johnson, MD and her husband Thomas Johnston MD

(L to R) Louisvillians Heather Peterson, Kristin Meyers, Kate Halaris and Katie Cummins.

Some of the restaurants and beverage companies that participated at the 2013 event included: Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Volare Ristorante, Upper Crust Catering, The Irish Rover, The Bristol Bar and Grille, Science Hill Inn, Bluegrass Brewing Company, Old 502 Winery, Southern Comfort, Woodford Reserve, Heine Brothers Coffee, Finlandia Vodka and Indian Creek Winery.

Louisvillians Norman and Beulah Moore

Louisvillians Heather Benjamin (L) and Cyndy Tandy (R)

Usually one of the most popular events of the Kentucky Derby Festival, the 2013 Annual Taste of Derby Festival was no exception, and included a silent auction, the donated items coming from all over Kentuckiana. In 2012, Dare to Care Food Bank helped more than 192,000 people in Kentuckiana, and it partners with more than 300 food pantries, emergency kitchens and shelters in eight Kentucky and five Indiana counties. To learn more about their programs, visit daretocare.org.

Louisvillian Lisa Imrie

Taste of Derby 2013
Louisvillians Keith Ransdell and Heather Kelley

2013 Taste of the Oaks
Benefiting Easter Seals of Louisville Pediatric Rehabilitation Center

Each year, there are reserved tables for 10 available for purchase at this charitable event, which includes a silent auction. Proceeds are used to provide essential medical rehabilitation to children with special needs treated at Easter Seals of Louisville Pediatric Rehabilitation Center.

Taste of the Oaks 2013
(L to R) Louisvillians Misty Gentry, Shane Gentry and Kellee Settle

Taste of the Oaks 2013
Louisvillian Christie-Leigh Mueller

But, besides the yummy cuisine, beverage, and spirit tastings from some of the area’s most popular restaurants (like the Taste of Derby Festival event), my favorite memories of the Taste of the Oaks over the last few years are:
  1. What a pleasant experience it is to stand, talk, and listen to one another while in line for food and beverages since the event has taken place at the Galt House Ballroom.
  2. How easy it is to become acquainted with other people by choosing to eat and drink at any of the ‘open seating’ tables.
  3. The entertainment by the local rock ‘n’ roll band Crushed Velvet, which never disappoints. Taste of the Oaks attendees take to the dance floor inspired by the music of iconic rock bands of the 1960s and '70s: the Doobie Brothers, the Eagles, the Beatles, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

'Best Dressed Women,' Louisvillians Mimi Sims (L) and Mary Knipp (R)

Phyllis Santos of Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation (L) posing with Bobbie & Patrick Rafferty

(L to R) Louisvillians Eric & Lisa Whyte, Phyllis Santos, Lisa's sister-Kellee Settle and her husband, Gary Settle
Louisvillians Rickey & Jamie Spaulding

Katy & Justin Rudd of Cincinnati

Louisvillians Erin Cutsinger and Thomas Whitney
(L to R) Louisvillians Jina Kang, Becky King, Su King and Erin Cutsinger

Louisvillians Jennifer Bock (L) and Kim Crittenden (R)
Louisvillian Bobbie Stovall Chitwood (center) and friends.

Louisvillians (L to R) Adriene Taylor-Mitchell, Margie Goatley, Angel Broddie and Gwendolyn Murphy

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