Taste of Roselle showcases 'small big town'

The annual Taste of Roselle is exactly that - literally and figuratively.

In addition to featuring more than 20 food vendors that showcase a variety of area restaurants and food trucks, the Taste also offers a sampling of every facet of village life.

Local bands perform, police and fire departments share safety tips, the park district hosts games, the chamber of commerce organizes bingo and the Roselle Lions keep the libations flowing.

"We are a small big town," says Kathie Fitzpatrick, a member of the Taste of Roselle Commission, which organizes the event. "Even though we are 28,000 people, we have the feel of a tight-knit community and this event really embodies that with everyone getting involved."

Thanks to the help of volunteers who have been working to organize the fest since March, the Taste of Roselle runs Friday through Sunday, July 31 to Aug. 2, and has six new food vendors this year, including Grill Chasers, Kona Ice, North of the Border, Real Urban BBQ, Zacarelli's Pizza and Kettle Kabin.

Two volunteers also helped organize the craft fair, which this year includes more than 50 vendors each day of the fest.

Throughout the Taste, the Roselle Fire Department will provide educational materials at its first-aid station, while the Roselle Police Department will have a Special Olympics booth at Main and Prospect streets, where officers will sell apparel and raffle tickets to support the cause.

The police also will host free child safety seat checks on Saturday, inspecting for proper use, installation and recall status. No appointments are necessary between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

To work off the calories from egg rolls, corn, tacos and cupcakes, visitors can participate in Roselle Park District's bags tournament or 3-on-3 basketball tournament along Park Street, with cash prizes for both.

The district also will host a Teen Joust Tournament on an inflatable in the Roselle Public Library parking lot off Park Street. To register, call the park district at (630) 894-4200.

On Sunday, several area nonprofit groups will be in Town Center Plaza to share educational materials. They are: Medinah Baptist Church; St. Walter's Catholic Church; Trinity Lutheran Church; Christian Tabernacle Church; Roselle United Methodist Church; League of Women Voters; Almost Home Foundation.

In keeping with its mission of community spirit, the Taste of Roselle Commission has used proceeds from the annual festival to support projects in the village for more than 30 years. Since then, the event has raised more than $325,000, and that money has benefited community initiatives that include the gazebo at Turner Pond, the 2010 Fourth of July Fireworks, new energy-efficient street lamps along Main Street, and a $10,000 donation to the Roselle Veterans Memorial.

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Proceeds from the annual Taste of Roselle have supported community projects for more than 30 years, organizers say. Daily Herald file photo

If you go

What: Taste of Roselle

When: 6-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday

Where: Main Street between Roselle Road and Park Street

Cost: Free admission and parking


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