The weather was nice, temperatures were just right and Chris Conlon, owner of , was more than pleased with the constant stream of customers coming his way during the 11th Annual Taste of Southington on Wednesday.
There was just one problem – with his BBQ foods in high demand, he was running short with almost an hour to go in the annual celebration.
“It’s a good problem to have, but certainly you don’t want to disappoint people,” Conlon said. “This has been one of the best turnouts we’ve seen at this event. Look around today; this is why we come and we are happy to be in business here in Southington.”
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There were more than 2,000 people who flooded the yard of on Wednesday to try a variety of foods and patronize 12 local restaurants during the Taste of Southington Wednesday night, the largest turnout in the past eight years according to Marie Secondo, event organizer and director of the museum.
Secondo said the event is designed to provide a fun family-atmosphere and has become one of the most popular annual celebrations in town – but even she couldn’t have anticipated just how many people would come this year.
Area residents flooded the two tents, sat on the museum lawn and came in bunches to see what the museum had to offer inside as well. In fact, museum tours were so in demand that there was actually a waiting list as people looked for their chance to see what the museum has to offer.
“This was something that the library’s board of directors envisioned when they started this whole event and today, you can see just how much of a draw the event has become,” Secondo said.
“I think this will easily beat our previous turnouts and we are happy to see residents, some who have lived here their whole life, come out not only to try the foods and patronize local businesses, but take a moment to check out the museum, some for the first time.”
With face painting and live music, Miss Petit Southington Hannah Whitney said she really enjoyed the event and would be coming back again next year.
“It’s amazing to see this. It’s so much better than what I expected,” said Sharon Whitney, Hannah’s mother and a first-time visitor to the annual event. “The food is so delicious and it all looks good. This is a great idea, the museum is the perfect place.”
Ron Newman, owner of , said as a first time restaurant, he had heard about how beneficial the event could be, but was not prepared for the number of people that stopped by for a bite to eat.
Lines swirled around the corner and down North Main Street as some waited for as long as half an hour to get a taste of the fares from one of Southington’s newer downtown restaurants. Newman said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We came prepared to serve as many as possible and that’s what we intend to do,” he said. “This is a great event and I’m glad we were able to be a part of it.”
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