A Little Taste of Amherst

The 22nd anual Taste of Amherst was a huge hit in the town common of Amherst, Massachusetts two weekends ago in early June. The music was always playing and there was certainly no shortage of local food to be tried by the hundreds who attended. There were over 20 local restaurants that were featured at the event, and each was looking to interact with the community and bring in customers to their businesses.

The event was long, making it easy for repeat visits for any meal. It was clear that there was some competition between each restaurant and stand. There were 2 chinese restarts and at least two ice cream shoppes that were represneted. However, it was clear that the weekend was not about the competition, but really more about bringing the community together and making it better.

Amherst is a place full of friendly faces and this event clearly reflected that. The event was clean and friendly, even all the way down to the garbage that was specifically sorted by volunteers.

Mark Kraus from Shutesbury, Mass. brought his wife along for their second trip to the Taste this year.

He explains that he has heard of most of the restaurants in town, as he only lives about ten minuets down the road, but he has not gotten the chance to visit all of them.

Clearly, with so many dishes, it was hard for many to decide which was their favorite. Everything that was offered was a feature dish of the restaurant and it was all prepared especially for the event with the intent to get get visitors to stop in at another time.


But even though food was the main focus of the Taste of Amherst, it was not the only thing the event had to offer. There was a beer garden that featured beer and wine samples from Rafters Sports Bar and Grill, and there were local bands playing almost constantly from start to finish. Each was from the Pioneer Valley area, and most seemed very grateful for the opportunity to be able to play for a large crowd. Michael Sokol, on of the DJ’s for the River 93.9, who was a main sponsor of the event, and the man behind bringing all of these local bands together, put it perfectly…

Street Level Sounds are produced by New England Public Radio interns as part of AudioFiles. The interviews, anecdotes, and oral histories recorded for Street Level Sounds are designed to build a public library of the western New England experience, and are not intended as news content, or endorsements by NEPR’s staff or Board. For more information on Street Level Sounds, contact AudioFiles producer, Peter Chilton.

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