Revamped Taste Edmonds is this weekend
Last updated 8/9/2018 at Noon
Earlier this spring, the Edmonds Beacon broke the news that the Edmonds Chamber was “blowing up the Taste” for 2018.
Indeed. Longtime Taste-goers might not recognize the city’s biggest event. Oh, the typical fried-food booths will be there, along with commercial vendors and plenty of beer to wash the music down with.
But changes are many, beginning with the name, Taste Edmonds. The “of” has been nuked, but feel free to still call it “the Taste.”
“Change isn’t always easy, particularly when it comes to a festival in its 36th year,” Chamber President and CEO Greg Urban said. “We have appreciated hearing from so many people in the community about the things they love about Taste Edmonds, as well as ideas for improvement.”
There’s been a revamp of the musical acts, which means no more Beatniks, Afrodisiacs, Spike and the Impalers, etc. Instead, welcome the Paperboys, Freddy Pink, the Hipsters and Dusty 45s, among others.
A welcome announcement is the festival entry fee being lowered this year to $3 for ages 13 and up, down $2 from last year’s. Children 12 and under are still free. A new option is a $5 multi-day wristband for entry all three days.
For the second year in a row, Edmonds residents with ID will get free entry from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.
The entry fee for both the festival and 21+ Garden is $9 per day ($3 festival entry plus $6 garden entry). You can now buy your entry to the 21+ Garden at any main gate. A $20 multi-day wristband gets you entry into the festival and the 21+ Garden all three days.
A new feature for young ones is the free bouncy house village in the Kids Zone.
“We heard from parents time and time again how expensive the rides have been in past years,” Urban said. “This year, a group of local downtown Edmonds businesses have generously sponsored the eight bouncy houses, so they are free for kids to ride.”
(For information on where to pick up your unlimited ride wristband ahead of time, go to tasteedmonds.com/kids-zone.)
Also new this year in the Kids Zone are free STEM, Creativity and Athletics tents. Kids can participate in hands-on activities as well as interesting demos from several community organizations.
They can learn how solar cell motors work, watch the King’s High School robotics team, make arts and crafts projects like ribbon kites and watercolor printing using shaving cream, and view demos from Sno-King Youth Club.
Many favorite food vendors are returning this year, along with some fresh new names. All vendors will be offering “Taste”-sized portions for $5 or less for those who want to sample a larger variety of foods.
New was the Taste Edmonds Food Judge Contest, where people could win a chance to be a food judge and get to try a sample of everything at Taste Edmonds. Three winners were announced: Kaitlyn Tanner, Gila Reese and Tavi Gardner, who will join the rest of the judging panel to choose this year’s honorees.
The 21+ Garden has undergone a big transformation, not only nearly doubling in size, but now combining both beer and wine gardens into one. The chamber has partnered with Columbia Distributing to bring a new lineup of both domestic and craft beers, as well as a handpicked selection of wines.
New this year will be food trucks inside the 21+ Garden, including Moonshine BBQ.
“People have asked for years to have food options in the garden, and we’re excited to add this element,” Urban said.
Here are a few highlights from the 21+ Garden:
- Craft beer tastings in an inflatable Irish pub on Friday and Saturday;
- The Modelo Michelada truck will be set up with free garnishes and other items to make your own michelada
- The Albert Lee Appliance Curbside Cuisine trailer will feature cooking demos (and tastings) from local restaurants Romeo’s, 190 Sunset and more;
- Free games of oversized giant beer pong;
- A mechanical bull;
- Wine garden yoga on both Saturday and Sunday morning;
- A new lineup of music featuring popular local cover bands as well as artists playing original creations;
- Meet the Winemaker event 3-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday;
- Back again for the second year is the Cornhole Tournament. Sign up as a team;
- Happy hour 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday with $1 off all beer.
The Taste has partnered with Lyft and the Think Twice Initiative this year. There are designated dropoff and pickup locations surrounding the Taste Edmonds festival grounds, and users can take advantage of a discount of 25 percent (up to $5 off) by using the promo code THINK218.
The offer works within three miles around the center of Edmonds, and is good from 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 10, to 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13.
Taste Edmonds serves as the largest fundraiser for the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds from the festival are put toward free community events, including the 4th of July celebrations, Classic Car Show, Halloween Trick-or-Treat and the annual Tree Lighting ceremony.