Come to the heart of Edmonds for a sample of their best restaurants and brews! Live local entertainment provides the soundtrack for this exciting three-day festival, and admission is FREE on Friday!
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A Taste of Edmonds Outdoor Food Festival
August 11, 2012 | 1o a.m.-11:30 a.m.
7th & Alley
More info: www.atasteofedmonds.com
Earling said “there were really four of us who put together the first Taste of Edmonds.” There was Jerilynn Brusseau who use to own Brusseaus where the Red Twig operates now; Chris Matt who owned Kintanaroo that was at the corner of Third and Dayton; and the fourth person was Danny Rice who owned a retail decorating and furniture store. “Danny has passed away, Jerilynn lives in Kitsap County and Matt is now an electrician,” explained Earling.
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“I think it is one of the nicest festivals around,” she concluded.
When the Taste’s potential for growth seemed exponential the Edmonds Chamber brought in the calvary in the form of Craig Cooke, owner of Pacific Rim Talent. Cooke was tasked with bringing in major sponsorship, national talent for the stages, and adding a commercial booth section to the mix. He has done all this and more for twenty years. Today A Taste of Edmonds estimates an average attendance of 85,000 visitors. Further the average expenditure per visitor is just over $30, resulting in sales of $2.25 million for the vendors who participate and the local shops and restaurants that pick up extra business with the festival bringing in so many people.
It takes a significant number of volunteers and support from the Edmonds Chamber staff to make the Taste as successful as it is, but having Cooke as the go-to-guy made the festival growth manageable. Ask Chamber Board members and they will credit Cooke for bringing in corporate sponsors as well which helps pay for the national acts on stage.
“When I got involved, the Taste took place just on Civic Field,” said Cooke. He credits the event’s early success to making his job easier along with the stability of the vendors such as Berringer Farms or Zieglers who had been vendors long before him and remain to this day.
“1992 was the first year I was involved with the event from the standpoint of helping to manage vendors and sponsors in addition to booking the entertainment,” said Cooke. “Paul Kromer had been filling this role for some years and he was still on board, I was assisting him. It was an election year and MTV had a Rock the Vote campaign they took to the road that summer to drum up voter awareness and get young folks registered to vote.”
MTV had made A Taste of Edmonds one of their stops that year. They promoted their tour heavily on the air including their appearance in Edmonds. The event was free to get into back then so there was no way to gauge turnout other than police and fire estimates.
“The event was so packed it was unreal,” said Cooke. “When the dust settled (and it took a while to do so) the police and fire estimates came in at 150,000 people visiting A Taste of Edmonds that weekend. That is almost double what we do now. The weather was perfect, and although very, very crowded the event came off without major incident.”
“As people began to understand the potential of the Taste, adding more interest with concert performances, the beer and wine garden, and so on — it began to take on a whole different shape and attracted more people,” said Earling. “It is one of the delights that the Edmonds Chamber puts on events like the Taste, the Car Show and the 4th of July. The city certainly benefits financially in many ways as it draws attention and creates commerce.”
“The thing that excites me the most is that the people who visit the Taste come back to have a better look at the town later on,” concluded Earling.