Britt Festivals' highly anticipated concert season kicks off Saturday, June 15, but before the music begins, Jacksonville will flaunt its charms at the annual Taste of Summer on Saturday, June 8. The yearly summer prelude features amusements and treats for all ages.
Third Street will be closed to make room for a beer garden and food booths by Frau Kemmling Schoolhaus Brewhaus, the Mustard Seed Cafe, Back Porch Bar & Grill, Gogi's and other Jacksonville restaurants. Vintage tractors and classic cars, courtesy of Rogue Valley Street Rods, the Rogue Valley Model A Club and other groups, will line the street, and there will be demonstrations by three local artists — Ron Moore (photography), Cammy Davis (mixed media) and Judy Elliott (textiles).
What: Taste of Summer
When: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8
Where: Downtown Jacksonville
Live music will be featured at noon and 2 p.m. at two locations downtown. Mercy (R&B, rock and soul), featuring Lynda Morrison, followed by Frankie Hernandez & The Old Soul Parade (soul, funk and reggae), will be on the Third Street stage. Grants Pass reggae band 3 Little Birds will be followed by Charles Guy and Michael Whipple (bluegrass, flamenco and jazz) on the California Street stage.
Live music also will spill onto the courthouse lawn, where Jacksonville teen rock band The Blank Notes will perform at noon, Ballet Folklorico at 1 p.m., ukulele students led by Trish McFadden (Rum Tum Music) at 2 p.m., and Sonic Kaleidoscope (marimba) at 3 p.m.
Various local organizations will host carnival-style games on the lawn, including Slinky races, a ring toss and a basketball toss, and Art Presence of Jacksonville will have five hands-on art stations for kids. Children who participate in all five projects will receive a ticket for a free ride on the Jacksonville trolley.
Other lawn attractions will include a chalk-art demonstration by Cathy Gallatin and her team, face painting by Gina Niemi, balloon animals by Michael D. Fox and booths.
Adults may prefer the Jacksonville wine walk, happening from noon to 4 p.m. Twenty local wineries will pour in various shops and businesses downtown. Tickets cost $25 and will include tastings from each winery. They will be available at Britt's booth on South Third Street.
New this year, there will be drawings for two $500 gift certificates, redeemable at any Jacksonville business. The drawings will be held at 4 p.m. at Britt's booth. You must be present to win. Entry forms are available at more than 40 downtown businesses. The rule is one entry per person per store, no purchase necessary.
In conjunction with Taste of Summer, Daybreak Ballooning will offer tethered hot-air balloon rides starting at 8 a.m. in the Bigham Knoll field, and Jacksonville Presbyterian Church will serve strawberry shortcake from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the historical First Presbyterian Church, 405 E. California St. There is a $5 suggested donation for ballooning, and a $3 suggested donation for shortcake.
"It (Taste of Summer) is getting bigger every year, and more people are jumping on board," says Britt Marketing Manager Sara King Cole. "We really kicked it up three years ago and did a combined effort with the (Jacksonville) Chamber and JOBA (Jacksonville Oregon Business Association), and the group approach really made it take off.
"It's important for us (Britt) to be a good community member, and we want people to come out and see the great shops and unique atmosphere of Jacksonville."
See www.brittfest.org/performances/tasteofsummer2013 for more information.