Take your taste buds, and your bud, out Saturday | NevadaAppeal.com

Take your taste buds, and your bud, out Saturday

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal A singing Dean Martin doll welcomes guests David McCullen and Lori Wyatt to B'Sghetti's Restaurant during the 13th annual Taste of Downtown last year. The event is fundraiser for Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

For about the same price as taking a significant other out to dinner, you can purchase two tickets to the Advocates to End Domestic Violence annual Taste of Downtown, with one big difference – you get to sample the tastes of more than 30 restaurants.

From 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday, 38 restaurants staged in areas from the Nevada State Museum to the Nevada Legislature, will prepare some of their finest menu items. Another plus is the 11 bands that have been lined up to perform a variety of music.

“The whole purpose is to stroll downtown and fall in love with it,” said Lisa Lee, director of Advocates to End Domestic Violence. “Many people drive through but don’t realize the beauty of it.

“It’s so nice, you’re outside, and the weather’s going to be good. You’ll run into friends on every corner and sample delicious foods and listen to bands you wouldn’t otherwise hear.”

Lee said 1,800 tickets were made available for the event. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were about 600 available, but she expects them to sell out today or early Friday.

“I’ve got people calling from Reno like you wouldn’t believe,” she said. “I can’t take charge cards so there’s no will-call window.

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Unclaimed tickets or cancellations will be at the Advocates to End Domestic Violence information booth on the Legislative lawn.

Now in its 14th year, Lee said the Taste of Downtown fundraiser began with five restaurants and one band.

“We have turned people away this year,” she said. “We don’t have the electrical to accommodate any more. I never thought there’d come a time when we couldn’t take any (participants).”

Advocates to End Domestic Violence provides safe shelter to women and their dependents who have left a potentially dangerous domestic situation. The shelters have 51 beds and in 2006 provided 6,000 nights of shelter. Funds raised are used to support the shelters.

“Because of recent legislative action, our grant money will be cut by 20 percent,” Lee said. “We receive a portion of the fees from marriage licenses. They are being cut by 25 percent – which means about $30,000 to us.

“What do we do? Do we limit the number of nights a person can stay? Do we shut down one of the homes and limit the number of beds available? The board will have difficult decisions to make.”

Lee said Las Vegas will lose about $500,000; Washoe County $117,000; and Douglas County more than $20,000.

“When you think about it, it isn’t that much … but it is when you’re running a nonprofit on a shoestring. It makes a difference,” she said.

“This fundraiser is more important to us than ever before.”

Lee added that when it rains it pours. Goodwill Industries will open a thrift store on July 1, which will pull sales from not only Advocates’ Classy Seconds Thrift Store, but FISH.

“We may lose 20 percent of our income,” Lee said. “They (Goodwill) don’t return profits to the community. They’re a national organization.”

T-shirts and other knickknacks to support Advocates will be available at the information booth.

At the end of the evening, taste participants can vote on their favorite band, best discovery, best taste, best overall, best atmosphere and best shop.

Lee, a resident of Carson City, said the event is a win-win situation for the shelter and Carson City.

“I want my downtown to thrive and keep going,” she said. “This event gets the community downtown and connected with downtown.

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.

If you go

WHAT: 14th annual Taste of Downtown

WHEN: 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: From Nevada State Museum to downtown Carson City

COST: $35 per ticket

CALL: 883-7654

Featured Bands

Tahoe Dance Band – State Museum, 6-9 p.m.

Living Picture Show – Curry and Telegraph streets, 5:30-9 p.m.

Dave Fritz – Purple Avocado, 5:30-9 p.m.

B-B-Q Boys – West Second Street, 5:30-9 p.m.

Road Daddy – West Third Street, 8 p.m. to midnight

Playa Papaya – East Proctor, 5:30-9 p.m.

Moonlight Express – Comma Coffee courtyard, 5:30-9 p.m.

Night Flyer – West John Street, 5:30-9 p.m.

Rock Hammond Blues Band – Re-Bar, 5:30-9 p.m.

The Rustlerz – Red’s Old 395, 5:30-9 p.m.

Danny Greco – D’Vine Wine, 5-9 p.m.