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Published: Saturday, 6/25/2005

Taste of Town diners savor summertime

BY MEGAN GREENWELL
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Tammy Bronowski of Genoa and Tina James of Toledo have the heat licked with a couple of ice creams at Taste of the Town.
Tammy Bronowski of Genoa and Tina James of Toledo have the heat licked with a couple of ice creams at Taste of the Town.
WADSWORTH / BLADE Enlarge

As the mercury climbed toward 95 degrees on the first full day of Taste of the Town, Jackie Hardenbrook couldn t make Italian ices fast enough.

Meanwhile, Pat Descamps didn t have a single taker for Spaghetti Warehouse s piping hot beer chili.

It s been great for us, Mrs. Hardenbrook said, gesturing toward a bowl of melted ice on the table operated by Washington Local schools. During lunch, everyone wanted something cold.

The ninth annual Taste of the Town brings food from 25 restaurants in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan to a two-block stretch of Jackson Street in downtown Toledo.

While local musicians played on stages at Huron and St. Clair streets, people opted for Italian ices and fruit smoothies on one of the hottest days of this year.

The temperature came within one degree of the record high for the date, topping out at 94 degrees at 3:59 p.m.

The hottest June 24 on record in Toledo was in 1998, according to the National Weather Service.

Despite the near-record heat, hundreds of people showed up and bought nine tickets for $10, $1 of which was donated to United Health Services. Servings of each dish cost between one and five tickets, though each booth was required to provide a one-ticket option.

Lunchtime at the event was slightly busier than last year, according to ticket seller Joyce Spinelli, who has worked Taste of the Town for the last four years. Sitting in her booth in front of the St. Clair Street stage made for a fun afternoon, she said.

It s been pretty good, she said. Sometimes I can t make myself heard, but it could be because I m old.

A large tent nearby housed cooking demonstrations by several Toledo area chefs. Between the lessons, local members of the U.S. Pizza Team twirled pizza dough and taught audience members to do the same.

Down the street, Kristin Riley, 15, clutched a fistful of tickets as she stood in the street pondering what she would taste next. She had already tried an egg roll and a slice of watermelon and had six tickets remaining.

Maybe a funnel cake, she said. Or ice cream?

Within five minutes, Kristin held a chocolate cone and four leftover tickets.

Taste of the Town continues from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. today and from noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow.

Contact Megan Greenwell at:

mgreenwell@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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