Residents savor a Taste of Marietta

Photo by Madeline Murphy Jenny Bruce, the Makerspace coordinator, teaches Liz King how to work the scroll saw to cut out a wooden boat she could later paint if she liked.

MARIETTA — The Taste of Marietta, one of the city’s newest events, kicked off Saturday in the 200 block of Putnam Street in downtown Marietta.

The event was a fundraiser put on by the Ely Chapman Education Foundation, to help its scholarship funds.

Gary Williams, the development director for Ely Chapman, said he wanted to try something different than the other fundraisers they’ve held. Money raised will be used to finance programs like the S.U.N.S.H.I.N.E. Learning Station and the Middle School Program.

With half of the students enrolled at the foundation receiving scholarships, the funds are greatly needed, Williams said.

“Roughly 40 percent of families are two paychecks away from financial crisis,” he said.

Photo by Madeline Murphy People crowd Putnam Street to sample food, beverages, watch live performances and shop for handmade items on Saturday evening at the Taste of Marietta fundraiser event.

With money so tight for families, the funds from the event are a vital key for the development of their students.

“We want to give students a safe place before and after school,” said Williams.

Tickets were $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12. Each ticket included a Frisbee that held silverware, a plate and the ticket to mark off samples they tried.

Samples included Greek food from Elenie’s, chocolate treats from Putnam Chocolates, several varieties of pizza provided by Smitty’s and Pizza Place, barbecue options from Rivertown Grill, a variety of chicken from places such as The Star of India and local wine from the Unicorn Wine Guild and Marietta Wine Cellars, all available for the price of a ticket.

“This is my first event like this, and the food is very good,” said Sonja Wright, of Marietta.

Photo by Madeline Murphy Rick Austin, with the Parkersburg Art Center, provides a live demonstration on how he creates his clay pieces, which were for sale and on display throughout the tent.

The event featured non-food vendors and live entertainment on a stage set up directly on Putnam Street as well. Performers included High Schools That Rock, the Christ United Ukulele Group; some dancers from Stacy’s Dance Studio and J.D. Williamson.

Some of the non-food vendors included the Parkersburg Art Center, Jiva Bath and Body, the Cornerstone Homestead, and the Building Bridges to Careers makerspace, allowing attendees to weave, paint and use a scroll saw.

“I think it is pretty cool that people can come together in one place and experience different local foods, crafts and entertainment,” said Sam Gottfried, a 15-year-old with the Boy Scouts of America Marietta troop 231, who were volunteering at the event.