The annual Taste of Ardmore event, presented by the Ardmore Main Street Authority, will give attendees the chance to sample and savor what the Ardmore area has to offer this Saturday night.
The event offers festival goers the chance to relish food and drinks from Ardmore-based restaurants and catering companies. This year’s Taste of Ardmore also offers children’s activities, the chance to reconnect with the Tivoli Theatre and listen to live music as acts such as country artist Johnny Lee take the stage.
Taste of Ardmore begins at 5 p.m. and various activities will continue until 9:30 p.m. The event will take place along Main Street, between B Street Northwest and C Street Northwest.
Jeff DiMiceli, interim executive director for Ardmore Main Street Authority, says the event is Ardmore’s largest block party with no cost to attend.
“This is the first major event in downtown Ardmore since the Christmas parade,” DiMiceli said. “This is a great time for people to get out of the house and come visit.” In past years, Taste of Ardmore has brought in a few thousand people. The 2014 event falls on the same weekend as the Arbuckles 2 Ardmore Race, which attracts many out-of-towners. And, many of those will likely visit Taste of Ardmore, DiMiceli says.
About 25 to 30 restaurants and catering companies will participate in the event as vendors and showcase some of their best food and drink options.
"It is everything from festival foods, gourmet food and down-home cooking dishes," DiMiceli says. "It is a real variety. It is a chance to familiarize people with what Ardmore has to offer and Ardmore has many very good restaurants." Live music will begin at 6 p.m. with country rock band Backroad Anthem. Country singer Johnny Lee, who is well-known for his 1980 hit "Lookin' for Love," will perform at 8 p.m.
Celebrations of Ardmore is hosting the children's playland area which will feature bounce houses and other children's activities.
From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Ardmore Main Street Authority volunteers will open the doors of the Tivoli Theater and welcome visitors to explore the landmark that first opened about 100 years ago.
A movie theater for many years, the property is now owned by the authority, which has a desire to renovate and revitalize it. Before work can begin, the authority members are seeking input from the community.
"We have a dream of restoring it to a singlescreen movie theater and small performance venue that can be used by arts groups and non-profits for events," board authority member Maria Wilkinson said. "That is our dream, but we want to ask more people what their dreams are." To kick off seeking input from the community, the authority is inviting all to walk through the theater to reminisce or view the historic building for the first time.
Visitors will be encouraged to write a favorite memory or story on the walls to help record and preserve the theater's history.
"We know we will eventually cover those walls with the renovations, but we will all know that those memories are there," Wilkinson said.
Memories can include writing down a film and the year one saw it at the Tivoli. Visitors can even dress like their favorite film character and there will be nostalgic photo opportunities for visitors, Wilkinson said.
"Our goal is to get people in the building, reconnect with the theatre and think about what they would like to see done in the future," Wilkinson said.