Saturday afternoon, the 6th Annual Taste of La Porte was held at the La Porte Civic Auditorium, mirroring a community block party as citizens tried delicious local cuisine, danced to La Porte-based bands, and played games like skee ball and wiffle ball toss.
The Taste of La Porte has always been a culmination of La Portean culture, and this year was no different. As attendees gathered on the lawn next to the Civic Auditorium, the event felt more and more like a community get-together. The event’s home of two years, La Porte’s Civic Auditorium, not only brings its guests closer, but it introduces La Porteans to the great services and structures provided by the city.
“Events like The Taste give people the chance to come out and explore not only new food options, but the beautiful Civic Auditorium we have,” said Thaddeus Cutler, Downtown Director for the City of La Porte. “To actually see it and enjoy it, it gives people ideas too. Last year after we had The Taste, we had a few weddings booked here. We all try to help each other out in this community, and that’s what it’s all about.”
The great location also allowed more local eateries to set up booths at the event. From Xtreme Freeze Italian Ice to Rio’s Mexican Grill, the diverse palate of the La Porte area was well represented. Hero’s Hot Dogs, a mobile, veteran-owned-and-operated hot dog stand was also present at the event. The business, owned and operated by Joe “Awesome” Munari, was eager to work The Taste because of its community value.
“I think The Taste is a part of a grassroots movement that brings the community into more family-oriented events,” said Munari. “Things like small gatherings, picnic-style food, family, and rides are fun. It’s been 20 years since I’ve had a good family picnic, and events like this one really bring that family-style attitude back to life.”
It was this very family-style element that brought a lot of former La Porte residents back to their hometown for the event. Laura Mason, who grew up playing in the neighborhood surrounding Civic Auditorium, was happy to come back to the area for The Taste.
“Events like The Taste keep us here,” said Mason. “It’s culture. This is very music fest and family-oriented, and it’s a good vibe.”
While families enjoyed their afternoon with fellow La Porteans, the good vibe Mason and so many others felt was fueled by local musicians Nate Miller and George Matthew, who are members of the band, Midwest Hype. Together, they played classic rock and alternative music throughout the beginning of The Taste. Miller, who lives a street over from the Civic Auditorium, especially appreciated the focus on community that The Taste provided.
“These events are great because everyone can come out and do stuff,” said Miller. “It’s awesome for me to be able to come out and play at events like this, but it’s good for the community because everyone can come out and there’s something for everybody to do. You can bring the whole family. We need a lot more stuff like this to do, because it brings people together.”
This year’s Taste of La Porte provided yet another opportunity for La Porte’s community connections to be fortified by a wide variety of food, activities, and entertainment. For more information about the City of La Porte, please visit www.cityoflaporte.com.