Crowds pack streets for Taste of Downtown (with results) |

Crowds pack streets for Taste of Downtown (with results)

Kirk Caraway
Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

At the start of the 16th annual Taste of Downtown event, it looked like a cool wind would limit the size of downtown Carson City’s biggest summer party.

But the crowds still came, and the sun came back out to warm everything up again.

“We thought the weather was going to hit us, but everything worked out,” said Lisa Lee, executive director of Advocates to End Domestic Violence, who puts on the event every year as a fundraiser for the organization.

“Every year has a different feel to it,” Lee said. “This time seems to have more energy than before. Not just the taste of food, but the feel of community down here.”

Participants had 36 food venues to choose from, stretching from the Carson Nugget all the way down to the Carson Mall. Along the way there were eight different live music venues, everything from rock ‘n’ roll on Curry Street, to big band jazz on the Capitol Grounds, to Hawaiian music with hula dancers at Carson Mall.

One of the longest lines early on was Local’s BBQ, at the corner of Curry and Musser streets.

“This line started 20 minutes before we were supposed to open, and it’s just been getting longer since then,” said Local’s owner Ralph Swagler.

The line stretched into the street for Local’s pulled pork sandwiches.

“That’s one of our favorite’s in the restaurant, and won the Best Taste award last year, and we’re trying for it again,” Swagler said.

One of the new restaurants in the event was L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.

“They are enticing people to come into the mall with a margarita bar at one end,” said co-owner Al Burgos. “Just from listening to people coming through today, I’m surprised at the number of people who haven’t heard we’re here. I’m certain we’ll reap the returns of participating in this year’s Taste.”

Lori Bagwell of Charley’s Grilled Subs also is new to the event.

“We are just having a good time,” Bagwell said. “It’s a great event for a good cause, and we’ve met a lot of new people who didn’t know we were here.”

As of 7 p.m. Saturday, Lee said that there were only 50 tickets left out of 2,000, and she was sure they would sell out by the end. Lee said they are appreciative of the support the community provides to her group each year.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser, and this is desperately needed now because we have had a lot of cuts in our grants,” Lee said.