Some Lament Changes Since Move From Hartford, Others Find Comfort
In What's New And What Hasn't Changed
June 13, 2005
By HILDA MUÑOZ, Courant Staff Writer
The food was still good, but some patrons and vendors at the
Taste of Greater Hartford Sunday said more than the event's name
and location have changed.
The outdoor food and entertainment festival, formerly known
as the Taste of Hartford, had its home in downtown Hartford for
22 years. This year, it moved from Constitution Plaza to East
Hartford's town green.
Jim Caldwell, sitting at a picnic table on Sunday, the festival's
last day, preparing to bite into Thai chicken on a stick, said
this year's event was smaller.
"In Hartford there was a lot more space, they had a lot
more booths," said Caldwell, 53, who had attended the Taste
of Hartford at least six times in the past.
"This is more like a fledgling operation, like it's just
starting, and it's going to take a few years to grow," he
Alyce Adams, 45, of West Hartford, said she enjoyed her plate
of noodles and chicken, but lamented the lack of variety this
"We were just talking about that, we were saying there
were more choices ... more international food. I don't see Spanish
food," said Adams, who was about to buy ice cream. "Don't
get me wrong, all the choices here are good, but that's what
it is about - tasting food."
A smaller turnout is to be
expected when a venue changes location, said Suzanne Myler,
an event coordinator with K&M Productions.
She suggested that many people stayed home because of the heat.
K&M productions opted
to move the Taste of Hartford after the Greater Hartford Arts
Council, which held the license for the event, canceled the
On Sunday, families spread out on grass, watching dancers perform
in a gazebo. Couples sat on benches eating ice cream, and small
lines formed at the booths.
Myler said she sees potential for the new site, pointing out
the free parking nearby, the park setting, the benches and picnic
tables and the children's rides that were unable to go up at
"We're really excited we could let it continue instead
of letting [it] die," said Myler. "We're actually more
excited to be here because it's a park-like setting for families."
Andra Cole, 36, of Springfield,
said finding parking for the event in East Hartford was easier
and she liked having the patches of grass and tables to sit
on. At Constitution Plaza, she said, people "basically sat on the sidewalk" to
Other than that, she said, the event is the same.
"I don't think much has changed," said
But Dameon LeBrun, of the
Cookhouse Café in East Hartford,
said he didn't dish out as much barbecue this year as in the
previous three years he worked as a vendor at the Taste of Hartford.
"It was a lot busier because we had all the office building
workers during the day and a lot of them would come down for
lunch ... [and] sometimes return with their families," he
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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