The 2018 Taste of Ann Arbor was held this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event featured 40 participating Ann Arbor restaurants, live music from local artists presented by Bank of Ann Arbor’s Sonic Lunch, and kid-friendly activities hosted by the Ann Arbor District Library, GrieveWell Kite Festival and the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum.
A day that began with rain early morning eventually transitioned to one with a sun-filled sky, perfect for the event. The vendors lined Main Street from Washington Street to William Street. Residents of Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas filled the street, eager to experience the wide variety of food the restaurants of Ann Arbor had to offer. Crowds gathered around the stage on Liberty and Main streets to listen to the bands and artists play. People sat on benches and curbs or stood, balancing their plates, enjoying the music and their food.
All food and drink prices ranged from $1 to $4, making the event reasonably affordable as well as entertaining. Rising LSA senior Rachael Rowley appreciates the affordability of the event.
“You get to taste the best eats of Ann Arbor on a student budget," Rowley said. "You can’t beat that.”
The event partnered with Zero Waste Washtenaw, a collaborative effort between Washtenaw County’s Solid Waste Division and Recycle Ann Arbor, a local non-profit recycling organization, to help reduce the waste of the event. The previous year, the event was successful in diverting a third of its overall waste. This year, there were monitors stationed at each waste area who helped the eventgoers direct their waste into either compost, recycle or trash bins.
Everyone from families to students was represented among the crowd. Rising LSA senior Allison Franz said the event brings people together.
“The community really comes together," Franz said. "It is so nice to see all the people of Ann Arbor and the restaurants getting together for the festival."
According to Celine Schrediah, who attends school in Toledo but is in Ann Arbor for the summer as part of the University of Michigan’s Health Sciences Undergraduate Research Academy, events like the Taste of Ann Arbor are part of what makes Ann Arbor so vibrant and unique. Schreidah said the event can really make newcomers feel welcomed.
“The festival is a great opportunity to enjoy the culture of Ann Arbor and really feel like you are a part of it.” Schreidah said. “Ann Arbor is amazing. I am enthralled with how much the residents care about the city and how much the culture is intertwined with the campus of U-M, it makes you feel very welcomed.”
Rowley said she likes to see residents enjoying themselves at the festival.
“It’s nice to see all the residents of the city," Rowley said. "I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy everything Ann Arbor has to offer.”