There’s a reason “Taste of Downtown” holds true to its name. Dozens of Carson City restaurants will participate in this evening event, giving residents and visitors alike the chance to sample food, dig into unique dishes and get a feel for the vibe of the local cuisine.
Whether it’s burgers, nachos, tamales, or Thai food, participants are likely to find it in downtown Carson City on July 23, the date “Taste” is scheduled in honor of its 23rd year. Restaurants like “The Thick Slice Pizza,” “Red’s Old 395 Grill,” and “Yang’s Kitchen” are taking part.
“This is a really fun event for the summer for Carson City,” said Traci Trenoweth, sexual assault response advocate (SARA) and volunteer coordinator for Advocates to End Domestic Violence, which sponsors the event. “We bring nearly 40 restaurants and eight bands. More than a dozen downtown shops stay open for the night. It’s a fun evening. People get to stroll around and taste food from all of the participating restaurants while they’re listening to music and talking to their friends and browsing in the shops.”
The actual food-sampling part of the event is scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m., with two bands playing until 10. About 5,000 people attend each year, but many of those come to just listen to the music and enjoy the event.
Only 2,000 tickets are actually available for sale for the Taste event. Unless you purchase a $40 ticket, you don’t get to participate in the food sampling part of Taste. Tickets can be purchased online at tasteofdowntowncarson.com; the price increases the day of the event.
“The reason we do this is to fundraise for our shelter,” said Trenoweth.
That’s a 51-bed shelter, located in Carson City, that provides housing for women, children, and even men. The shelter is the largest in Northern Nevada, she said, and open to victims to stay at for up to three to five months. There also are two transitional units.
As well, Advocates provide support through the criminal justice system, be that in obtaining a temporary protection order or providing accompaniment to court. Additionally, Advocates offer support groups, support to sexual assault victims, access to Classy Seconds — Advocates’ second-hand shop — and outreach and education about domestic violence. There’s even a 24-hour crisis hotline.
“We love what we do,” said Trenoweth. “Without Taste, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Part of the issue with domestic violence, she said, is victims may not see the reality of the situation they are in due to isolation or what the abuser has said.
“Victims may not recognize right away that they are in an abusive relationship,” she said. “It’s the friends and family who may see it first.”
Also, support through Advocates isn’t limited to those suffering physical abuse; it’s available to those at the receiving end of verbal, mental or emotional abuse, as well. These are all components of domestic abuse, according to Trenoweth.
“You don’t have to be physically hurt to seek our help,” she said.
Victims of abuse come from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Their education level doesn’t matter, nor does their gender. There are even men who are victims. And that’s why Taste is so important.
“Anybody can be a victim of domestic violence,” said Trenoweth.
While downtown Carson City is currently ripped up by construction, Taste will “definitely” be along Curry Street, according to Trenoweth. Attendees to the event, the largest fundraiser for Advocates each year, receive wristbands, and can visit each food booth for a sample or whatever is being served. Alcohol will be available for purchase at some booths, too. Participants will be able to vote for the best in various categories — including Best Overall, Best New Discovery, Best Band, and Best Atmosphere — with winners announced the following morning. So when it comes down to it, does anyone make it to all 40-plus food booths at Taste?
“I don’t know how you could,” said Trenoweth. “I know we have some dedicated tasters that want to hit all of them — and I commend them.”