The Big Event: At The Taste of Woodstock festival, a feast for all the senses

Andrea Williams, of Enfield, and her mom, Jo, of Grantham shop at the Elf Slippers booth at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8.  Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
Andrea Williams, of Enfield, and her mom, Jo, of Grantham shop at the Elf Slippers booth at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph
Michelle Bradley, of Woodstock, talks with Bill Bakker, of Reading, Vt., co-owner of Grosbeak Gardens handmade candles.at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
Michelle Bradley, of Woodstock, talks with Bill Bakker, of Reading, Vt., co-owner of Grosbeak Gardens handmade candles.at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph
New England Falconry of Woodstock volunteer Michael Doenges with Rangle, a 4-month-old Harris’ Hawk, at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
New England Falconry of Woodstock volunteer Michael Doenges with Rangle, a 4-month-old Harris’ Hawk, at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph
Lucia Peraza, 6, of Hanover checks out the mermaid painted on her face by Charlotte Atkinson, of Strafford, at the ArtisTree booth during The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
Lucia Peraza, 6, of Hanover checks out the mermaid painted on her face by Charlotte Atkinson, of Strafford, at the ArtisTree booth during The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph
Papa John Papazacharias works the kabobs at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
Papa John Papazacharias works the kabobs at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph
Nancy Normandeau tries on a hat by Mountain Tops of Waitsfield, Vt., at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
Nancy Normandeau tries on a hat by Mountain Tops of Waitsfield, Vt., at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph
Michael Wood on guitar, Pooh Sprague on bass, Kenny Norstrant on mandolin and Steve Henning on banjo provide musical entertainment at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph -
Michael Wood on guitar, Pooh Sprague on bass, Kenny Norstrant on mandolin and Steve Henning on banjo provide musical entertainment at The Taste of Woodstock festival on Aug. 8. Nancy Nutile-McMenemy photograph

L ocal cheese, sweets and spirits are among the flavors featured at The Taste of Woodstock. But with music, dancing and art also on the menu, the free festival on Aug. 8 was a feast for the other senses, too.

Beth Finlayson started the event several years ago.

“The idea was to close down the street, have a street dance and give people a reason to come and taste all the good things Woodstock is known for,” said Finlayson, director of the Woodstock Area Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the annual festival. That might include Red Kite Candy, a burger from Bentleys Restaurant, or even non-edibles, such as jewelry.

This summer, organizers added live animals to the lineup. They included hawks from a new falconry center on Hartland Hill Road, a partnership between the Woodstock Inn and Resort and New England Falconry.

“People were really interested in that,” Finlayson said. And a cow and two calves from Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co. were “a big hit.”

It’s not clear how many people attended — tickets weren’t required — but almost 900 people went through the visitors center that day, compared with about 180 the previous Saturday, Finlayson said. “That’s a pretty significant increase.” And the weather helped.

“It wasn’t too hot. It wasn’t really a beach day,” she said. “It was a perfect summer day.” — Aimee Caruso

Author: Aimee Caruso

Aimee Caruso is a Valley News staff writer and the 2014 New Hampshire Press Association writer of the year. She can be reached at acaruso@vnews.com or 603-727-3210.

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