Your Guide to All the Taste Has to Offer
Writer / Jon Shoulders
After more than a decade since the last Taste of Broad Ripple festival occurred, the event will be back in full force on June 17 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Organizer Steve Ross says the timing is perfect for an open-air event featuring local food and entertainment to help showcase what he feels is an increasingly well-rounded Broad Ripple Village for residents throughout the city and state.
“With what’s been going on recently in Broad Ripple from the new Fresh Thyme to some of the eclectic new restaurants over the past year or two, it was the right timing — both for those who live nearby and are familiar, and for people who have been looking for a reason to come to the area,” says Ross, an Indy native and owner of The Vogue Nightclub. “It’s exciting to bring it back, and it’s what Broad Ripple needs to show people we’re still here and we’re a great place to be.”
The Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA), with Ross as a board member, originally launched the Taste event for three consecutive years beginning in 2003 before deciding on a hiatus to focus on other programs and initiatives. Two years ago, Ross began pondering the idea of relaunching the event and reached out to BRVA Executive Director Brooke Klejnot to get the ball rolling.
“It seemed like the right time, and at the last three we had an average of about 9,000 people per event,” Ross says. “Everybody was on board to bring it back — the IFD (Indianapolis Fire Department), the IMPD (Indianapolis Metro Police Department) — they all wanted to make it work.”
Attendees can expect a wide range of food selections from 20 vendors including the Jazz Kitchen, La Chinita Poblana, BRICS Ice Cream, Delicia & La Mulita, 317 Burger and more. Four live music acts, including Chicago-based Rod Tuffcurls and the Bench Press, The Easthills, Audiodacity and the Kyle Bledsoe Trio, will perform on the official Colts Stage, donated specially for the event by the Indianapolis Colts organization.
“It’s been years since Broad Ripple has done a big festival of this type, so we’re excited to be a part of it,” says Nicole Harlan-Oprisu, co-owner of Delicia & La Mulita at 52nd Street and College Avenue, and The Northside Social near 65th and College. “We’re greatly supported by the Broad Ripple area, so when something like this comes up we want to lend our support back to the community.”
Ross says the festival will include a Colts interactive museum, a kids pizza-making contest from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a separate children’s area with face painting, a balloon artist and a bounce house.
“It’s going to be a family event – we’ll have a beer garden but there will be tons of food and stuff for people to do,” he says.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., a local celebrity chef cook-off will take place with 12 contestants showing off their chops including Craig Baker of Bent Rail Brewery and Restaurant, Neal Brown of Ukiyo and Dean Sample of The Northside Social. The contest will consist of three timed rounds, and each chef will cook enough food to serve approximately 50 VIPs.
Indianapolis-based Second Helpings, a hunger relief and job training organization, as well as Yuengling Beer and Broad Ripple-newcomer Fresh Thyme Market, are sponsoring the event.
“Fresh Thyme will have their own tent with a wine tasting and food giveaways,” Ross says. “We’re really excited. We’ve got a great marketing group on board. We’re also using the Bohlsen Group that does the Pacers and Colts.”
The BRVA and The Vogue have partnered with Do317 and Sun King Brewery to help relaunch the event, and Ross says convincing some of the newer commercial faces in the Broad Ripple area to participate presented a challenge in the initial event planning stages.
“There was such a long hiatus that some restaurants have come and gone, and management has changed in some existing restaurants, so a lot of people didn’t remember how successful the Tastes were,” he says. “So, trying to get them to invest in it and join as food vendors was a challenge. But I told them it worked before and we’ll make it work again.”
What You Need to Know
Where: In the heart of Broad Ripple Village, from the intersection of North Guilford Avenue and Broad Ripple Avenue to the north side of Rainbow Bridge on Guilford, and part of Westfield Boulevard to North Winthrop Avenue.
Traffic will be blocked off starting at the intersection of North Guilford Avenue and Westfield Boulevard.
Ticket info: $7 (free for children 10 and under). A percentage of ticket sale proceeds will go toward Second Helpings hunger relief programs. Tickets can be purchased online at tasteofbroadripple.com. or at The Vogue Nightclub box office, Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets purchased at event entrances are cash only.
Parking: Free parking will be offered at the Glendale Mall, and a complimentary shuttle service will run every 20 minutes to and from the mall. Paid parking is available at the corner of Broad Ripple Avenue and North College Avenue.
Additional details: No outside alcoholic beverages or coolers will be allowed into the event. Handicap-accessible restroom facilities available. The Indianapolis Metro Police Department and paramedics will be onsite for safety and medical assistance.
Contact: (317) 502-1250
For further information and a full schedule of events, visit tasteofbroadripple.com.