WOODSTOCK — The 12th annual Taste of Woodstock brought delicious snacks, tunes, and art to Elm Street on Saturday for a big thank you.
Named after food, the event is one of the best summer events in town as tourists and locals gather to appreciate local artists, food from across the region, and a diverse selection of music.
The chalk art event was a big draw with eight artists competing for bragging rights.
Julie Orndorff, a watercolor and ink artist from Cleveland, said she was in town with her husband, Josie Orndorff, for their wedding.
“My intention was to go through the Taste of Woodstock and get some food,” said Julie Orndorff.
However, her husband suggested that his wife fill the last vacant seat in the competition.
So on a whim, I drew a bride and groom standing in the middle of Elm Street, the street she was drawing.
This was a popular entry, but the top choice to disappear was the classic Vermont landscape scene featuring country roads and barns.
Bernard’s Emily Burkholder piece was the clear choice, said Deborah Goodwin, gallery coordinator for ArtisTree, which sponsored the event.
Burkholder is an oil and watercolor painter who teaches at ArtisTree. It’s been three years since he participated in the chalk art contest.
Goodwin said the People’s Choice Awards are primarily for bragging rights, but they also include gift certificates for art supplies.
“We’ve been doing this for at least 10 years,” says Goodwin. “It’s one of the crowd favorites.”
The chalk art, which will probably last until the next rain, echoes in the streets as different singers and bands lull visitors in their pursuit of different foods and artistry. It lasts a little longer than the original song.
We had flavors of pizza, popcorn, empanadas, grilled corn, grilled cheese, short ribs, shaved ice, spirits, jams and Greek olive oil.
Cards were drawn from wallets at arts and crafts exhibits.
Kit Mead, owner of Crickit Cottage in Woodstock, has been exhibiting at the event for five years and has a thriving business with hand-painted original home décor.
Despite calling her art a side job that serves as her “happy place,” Mead said Taste of Woodstock is her most profitable outing.
“It’s a great event to live here,” Mead said. “This is one of our top five events. It’s the only event they close the road to.”
Meade said there were more people at the event this year than last year.
She said cooler weather – no rain despite darkening clouds – certainly brought in more people.
Other groups appreciated those crowds.
Woodstock Wheels’ Luke Hanson and his father, Rob Hanson, were offering half-price electric bike rentals.
Rob Hanson said the crowd was good and he just sent out four bikes for the hour-long ride.
Next door, Sustainable Woodstock was also pleased to share information on environmental, economic and social responsibility with a large audience. When people drop his raffle ticket and win one of several branded items for him, including a solar powered bike lock, his solar powered Bluetooth speaker, and a solar/hand crank flashlight, Members provided information about their mission.
“We had a good conversation,” said volunteer Sandy Gummer.
Wayne Thompson, 80, said he grew up in Woodstock and never attended a Taste of Woodstock event.
“It’s fun,” Thompson said, citing a variety of music, food, and chalk art as favorites.
“I love looking at chalk drawings,” said Thompson, who is an artist himself. “And meeting new people is fun.”
Thompson ran into longtime friend Sarah Norcross from Reading, Vermont, and the two leaned against a fence, listening to music and catching up.
“It’s great to see people having fun together after COVID,” Norcross said.
Darren Marcy can be reached at [email protected] or 603-727-3216.