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New Southwest Side Event: Taste of Mount Greenwood

The Chamber of Commerce recently kicked off a new tradition in Mount Greenwood by hosting their first ever Taste of Mount Greenwood festival at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

The Sept. 28 event on the Southwest Side featured 12 local restaurant and food vendors and more than 70 crafters and stores from the area.

Darlene Myers, the executive director of the Mount Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, said she hoped for the same success that Party in the Park had in recent years. Party in the Park was an event the chamber hosted for 12 years as a way to lead up to the 100th Anniversary of Mount Greenwood.

“We stopped hosting Party in the Park because we didn’t want it to take the spotlight away from the new Play Lot that was celebrating its opening,” she said. “But we still want money for Mount Greenwood, so we [the board of directors] came up the Taste of Mount Greenwood.”

The Play Lot was completed last year as a safe environment for the children of the neighborhood to play in.

Myers said one of the reasons the board of directors decided to host the event was to help promote local businesses.

“It’s all about raising money,” Myers said. “Especially for the restaurants who aren’t doing so well.”

The vendors who participated in the event were mostly based in the area. But one couple came all the way from Pittsburgh to take part in the Taste.

Heather Kahoun, owner of Fudgie Wudgie, said she heard about the Taste through another vendor and decided to take part to help out the community where her friends and relatives live, although their facilities are in Pittsburgh.

“I came here today hoping to find fundraisers,” she said. “We do fundraisers for schools and give 30 percent back.”

The Taste of Mount Greenwood had much more to offer than just sampling food from vendors and looking at the unique crafts from the area. The event included activities for youngsters to enjoy like a petting zoo, face painting and a pop-up jungle gym donated by a local business.

Christine Hermes, 21, said she believed the event appealed to people of all ages.

“This was a really great idea,” she said. “The petting zoo is great for the kids, but the cars and band are also something that people my age can enjoy. The animals are really adorable.”

A.J. Malone, 21, said his favorite part was the car show.

“I think it was a great thing to incorporate into an event like this. I know I would come again next year just to come look at all these great vintage cars,” he said. “It’s a cool thing for the guys in the area to come out and let us drool over their cars.”

Myers hopes that this event will continue next year, and it will pick up where Party in the Park left off.

“When we started Party in the Park, not too many people knew about it, and only about 200 to 300 showed up,” she said. “By the end of it, attendance was in the thousands. I hope we can have the same success with the Taste.”

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