By Magda Dakin
Food and fun was the order of the day on Saturday, June 11, in the Whitin Park when hundreds and hundreds of people came to be part of the Whitin Community Center’s Wooed by the Food event. With two dozen food vendors and almost as many other event vendors it was a great place to spend the day, even with the mid-day showers. Not much would dampen their spirits or as one mom of three said, “We’re here to have fun - a little rain isn’t going to get in the way of that.” In fact, one visitor even said it was a lot nicer waiting in line with a little rain than the 90 degree temps from last year. “We get to try lots more things today because the wait wasn’t as long. I got to have some BBQ too!”
For the kids the event featured face painting, inflatable animals, hats, beads, toys, custom- made marshmallow guns, children’s books, Radish Story walk, bouncy house, Zentangle coloring, penny candy at the Wacky Candy Shack, popcorn at Windsor Popcorn and of course The Food!
For adults the stops included Little Man original hand bags and accessories, a virtual elders giving tree to raise community awareness, some home projects ideas, unique handcrafted artists works from The Maker’s Waypost,, essential oil choices from doTerra, Brazilian Gourmet Spices from a new locally owned business, beautiful handmade glass gardens/terrariums from Nikke Rodgers, a sunglass station and the much appreciated support of local banks UniBank and Milford Federal Savings.
If you were feeling lucky there was the opportunity of a 50/50 raffle and lots of donated gifts and gift baskets to put your raffle ticket in. Since the event is to benefit the programs at the Whitin Community Center there was lots of activity at the raffle tables.
And the food…. Whatever you were in the mood for, you could find it here. The Hive, a mobile bar, housed an intimate Luxurious Lounge, perfect for very sunny or in this case, rainy, days, offering a full bar and a great place for a few minutes of relaxation. At their perfect location under a giant shade tree the award winning Armenian Church Ladies Guild was popular not only for the Losh Kebah, Choereg and sweets, but for the rain free space in which to enjoy it.
Barbeque in all its forms is perfect for the picnic in the park experience rain or shine and there was a plethora of options all with waiting lines even in the pouring rain. Bit’Chin BBQ featured baby back ribs, pulled pork, cornbread and sides. GottaQ BBQ served their winning pulled pork, beef brisket, ribs, sirloin tips and sides. Soul Full Fried Chicken offered organic southern fried chicken and sides while Mo’Rockin Fusion had authentic Moroccan cuisine with a twist. Seafood lovers swarmed to Captain Marsden’s The Cod Squad for their favorite seafood choice.
Hot dogs at The Dog Father, sandwiches at Curbside Capriotti’s, authentic Puerto Rican fare at Buen Provecho and hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Italian sausage, pastrami, salad and fried dough at the Uxbridge First Holiday Night booth rounded out the choices
Pizza and Italian fare are always favorites and Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza prepared and baked on site was an incredibly fresh cheesy delight. And speaking of cheesy, Say Cheese! Has perfected the art of the grilled cheese sandwich with eight different kinds of cheese choices topped with bacon by request. First time out with their brand new food truck, Nonnie Rose’s “The Next Generation” offered an interesting collection of choices including authentic Italian meatballs, pizza, cannolis, eclairs, Italian cookies and more. Mmm yum, pizza and sweets at the same booth!
Speaking of sweets, calories consumed while walking don’t coun,t right? A veteran of the even,t Sara’s Sweets Curbside Cupcakes, featured beautifully designed cupcakes, cake pops and frosting shots, each in their own container. The Cake Shop Café featured assorted cookies, brownies, bars pastries and even some dog goodies. Dean’s Bean Organic Coffee was the perfect finish for tasty food and sweets.
Ice cream time! Split My Banana offered frozen bananas with toppings and refreshing smoothies of all kinds. Street Wise Ice Cream had a full selection of novelty ice cream on a stick or in a cone, and even something for the dogs. Hawaiian Shave Ice and The Big Freezy provided lots of blue mouths, big smiles and sticky hands with their full selections of shaved ice with tropical and fruit flavorings. Wooberry Frozen Yogurt offered vanilla and chocolate yoghurt with over 35 options for toppings, making a complete sundae!
There were lots of smiles and full tummies all over the park. We’ll all be looking forward to doing it again next year.