Taste of the Town and the Hillside Art Music & Food Festival to team up for Exceptional Way benefit event

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, March 15, 2022

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Two popular festivals in LaGrange are merging into one.

Taste of the Town and the Hillside Art Music & Food Festival are working together to create a street market festival in April in the Hillside neighborhood of LaGrange. The Junior Service League organizes the annual Taste of the Town Festival, while DASH oversees the Hillside festival each year.

This year they are working together to create Taste of the Town 2022, which will be held April 9 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Lincoln, Garfield and Jefferson Streets.

“Honestly, we ran out of space at the Overlook Plaza,” said Nicole Spivey, chair of the Taste of the Town and past president of JSL. “So, for the past two years we’ve really been capped on vendors, so that really inspired the collaboration.”

All proceeds will benefit The Exceptional Way, which provides individuals with disabilities the social and recreational activities they require to promote healthy living, support social relationships, improve life skills and foster community involvement.

Admission will be free, but donations will be encouraged at the entrance. Proceeds from the event will go toward the purchase of a new bus for the Exceptional Way, allowing the organization to take more field trips and more easily handle other activities.

“Junior Service League awards mini grants twice a year and the Exceptional Way applied for one of our mini grants,” Spivey said.

“And then from there, we kind of just formed a relationship with them. We found out that they really need a second bus because they reached max capacity on the one they have now, so we wanted to help them do that so they can continue their field trips and their day activities and different things that they do in a community.”

Spivey said the event will include over 40 local food vendors and artisans, as well as live music from Pure Life Studios.

Beacon Brewing Co. has also introduced a new Beacon staple at Taste of The Town. Spivey said Harper’s Hill Famous Oatmeal Stout will debut at the event and benefit the Junior Service League as $1 from every pint or six pack sold in the Beacon taproom will be donated to JSL.

“Out of all of the events that take place, this truly speaks to our community as a whole in LaGrange,” Spivey said. “It’s a great time to support our local restaurants and food industry, businesses, as well as the mom and pop shops that have really been hurting the past few years.”