WESTMONT – Preparing for the Taste of Westmont is a yearlong task for the Westmont Special Events Committee’s 11 members.
“It takes the entire organization to put this together,” said Dave Gullotto, a member of the WSEC board. “We begin almost immediately after that year’s event with all the planning.”
The four-day event will feature 14 local food vendors, a beer tent and more than a half-dozen bands for entertainment, in addition to the Kidzapalooza carnival, children’s activities, a bean bag tournament, bingo and a craft show, in downtown Westmont along Cass Avenue.
“We keep a neighborhood feel to it,” Gullotto said. “I’ve never seen people without big smiles on their faces at our event.”
Finding ways to make the Taste of Westmont new and exciting each year is a task the committee tackles with surveys and community input every offseason.
“We’re constantly asking people what they’d like to see,” Gullotto said. “We put all that info together and try to put the best program together as possible.
“... Our goal is to offer something for everyone every night.”
This year’s theme came about after requests from the community to add country music to the entertainment lineup. The theme is “A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock And Roll.”
Blues will make its way into this year’s Taste, as well.
From noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, the community will honor Westmont native and blues legend Muddy Waters with an open-mic blues jam.
Along with committee members and employees, the Taste of Westmont has about 250 volunteers.
Kristine Turano, office manager for the WSEC, said volunteers drive the event.
“Everything you see is entirely done by volunteers, beginning with our board of directors and the committee,” she said.
“We’re never in panic mode,” Turano said. “Everyone pitches in and helps out.”
Admission to the festival is free. Parking is available in the residential areas surrounding the festival. Handicap parking is available in the Bank of America lot at 139 N. Cass Ave.
Taste of Westmont hours
4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday
Noon to 10:30 p.m. Saturday
Noon to 9 p.m. Sunday
Main stage entertainment
6 p.m. Jin & Tonic
8:30 p.m. 7th Heaven
3:30 p.m. CTA
6 p.m. Hillbilly Rockstarz
8:30 p.m. Rock Candy
Noon to 4 p.m. Muddy Waters Open Mic Blues Jam
6 p.m. Infinity
Wristbands for unlimited rides will be available noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday ($20) and from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday ($15).