By JEN CARDINES
The 16th annual Taste of Southington event is just around the corner, where locals can sample fan favorites from restaurants across town. On Wednesday, Aug. 2, the Barnes Museum grounds will be covered with tents, food vendors, live entertainment, and even a clown for added fun.
From 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the public is invited to experience authentic Southington food and history at the museum.
Museum curator Marie Secondo said the event was originally created “to bring awareness—especially to the local community—about their museum because [the Barnes Museum] belongs to the town.” Officials designed Taste of Southington to coincide with Music on the Green, where people begin their evening on the museum patio and migrate down to the town green for the weekly concert. The Country Bootleg Band will begin at 7 p.m. during the Aug. 2 MOTG show.
“It’s like a big family,” said Secondo. “It’s truly a community-wide evening, and people really enjoy it.”
The newest restaurant added to the line-up is Ideal Tavern, along with Catering by Chef Ralph. The list includes 10 other in-town restaurants that have participated in previous years. C.C. Carvers, Foodology Cooking School and Café, Geno’s Grille, Ideal Tavern, Namaste India, Paul Gregory’s Bistro, Paradise Pizza, Saint’s Restaurant and Catering, Sixpence Pie Company, Smokin’ with Chris, and Sweet Mango will offer everything from pasta, seafood salad, ribs, grinders, paninis, Indian cuisine, deserts, and more.
In an email to Secondo, Tyler St. Pierre from Saint’s Restaurant said, “We are thrilled to kick off our 50th anniversary celebration this fall with an appearance at the Taste of Southington.”
Aside from the various food courses, participants are offered free tours in the museum, thanks to the help of many volunteers including Apple Harvest Festival hostesses and Miss Southington pageant girls. Putin’ on the Ritz will provide free face painting, glitter tattoos, and balloon animals for children.
The event also includes live entertainment by Connecticut native and singer/songwriter Malorie Leogrande, who will perform musical selections from classic, soul, R&B, and jazz assortments.
For the first time during the Taste of Southington, the barn will be open for visitors to view automobile antiques, parts, and tools. No vehicles remain on the property today, but many devices are housed in the barn.
“There’s even a car door in there from an accident Barnes got into,” Secondo said.
Taste of Southington is sponsored by TD Bank. Admission and participation is free to the public, but each restaurant will charge for the food they serve. Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs, but there are tables and chairs under tents as well.
In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 3. For more information, visit barnesmuseum.wordpress.com/special-events or call the Barnes Museum at (860) 628-5426.