ELKHART — Fans of Wellfield Botanic Gardens’ annual Taste of the Gardens should start getting their taste buds ready.
Much of the combined music and food outdoor event will be the same as in previous years, but marketing chairman Barney Ash said feedback from attendees has prompted one change. “This year, we’ve moved the music tent away from the food tent,” Ash said Thursday, Aug. 8. “We have comment cards and year after year people have said, turn the music down. It’s like when you go out to eat and the music is loud and you are yelling at the people you are trying to converse with.”
Rather than asking musicians to quiet down, the event’s setup has been changed slightly to create a better experience for attendees.
While wandering the gardens people can peruse items for sale from about 75 artists and try food from a selection of more than 20 local restaurants.
Jose Rios, part owner of ModMex in Elkhart, said he plans to bring a taco bar, mini burritos, nachos and guacamole to the event. This is the second year ModMex will be selling food at Taste of the Gardens.
“I’m really trying to be involved in the community more,” Rios said. “We try to do as many community events as possible.”
Kelly Huffman, owner of Honey’s Frozen Yogurt in Goshen, said she’s excited to be one of the food vendors at Taste of the Gardens.
“It’s an honor, especially when you look at the other (restaurants) on the list,” Huffman said. “I just think of myself as having a little frozen yogurt place in Goshen. Honey’s really does have a following in Elkhart, though.”
Huffman will be bringing in various flavors of frozen yogurt and a selection of toppings. She said she is also looking forward to sampling other food at the event.
“I’ll probably be a bigger customer,” Huffman said, laughing. “I’ll be buying more (food) tickets than anyone else.”
Other local restaurants bringing food to the event include 523 Tap and Grill, b on the River, Baker’s Nook Cafe, Between the Buns, Bonnie Doon, Christiana Creek Country Club, Chubby Trout, Flippin’ Cow, Great Wall, Matterhorn Banquet Center, Maplecrest Country Club, Rolling Scones, Sports Time Family Pub & Grill, SugaRush Desserts, Swan Lake Resorts and Texas Roadhouse.
Several groups will provide live music during Taste of the Gardens, including Michael Kelsey, Night Shift, Whistle Pigs, Paul Decker and the Real Deal, Vibe Nation, Laura and Vinny of Cousin Vinny, Rafel Chavez y Moreno and the Elkhart Symphony.
Ash pointed out that several gardens and sculptures have been added since last year’s event.
“(The gardens) are really a treasure for Elkhart,” Ash said.
Taste of the Gardens runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. Admission is $5 per person, with children 12 and younger admitted at no charge. Admission fees support the maintenance of the gardens.
Wellfield Botanic Gardens is located at 1011 N. Main St. in Elkhart.