Photo album: Taste of Northfield 2007

taste08-sshotRoss with his NDDC hat on has blogged that the Third Annual Taste of Northfield is Coming Right Up.

That would be this Thursday night, downtown.

He has a 2008 Taste of Northfield (PDF) poster (left) with the details.

Doug Bratland over at’s blog says that the Third Annual Taste of Northfield Promises to be Bigger and Better than Ever!

Want to whet your appetite?

See the 2007 Taste of Northfield photo album (I blogged it last July 19) or this slideshow of 33 photos:


  1. Anne Bretts said:

    Here are some suggestions to capitalize on this event to bring more people downtown, as we’ve discussed in other downtown threads:
    All business owners, workers and volunteers should have name tags — and should make it a point to introduce themselves to as many strangers as possible and welcome them downtown.
    They should pass out business cards with their e-mail, phone and website info and encourage them to use it. Adding a special offer for their next visit also would be good.
    There should be sign-up sheets at every store and booth where people can sign up for e-mail alerts of future events.
    Finally, the emcee should make a point of asking who’s knew to town, new to downtown events and get them to raise their hands, get others around them to welcome them and maybe introduce themselves.
    You could even create a newcomer’s or visitor’s tag, which you can give new people so others can spot them and greet them.
    Sure, not all people want to be singled out, but a lot of them will feel pretty special — and more inclined to come back down and visit their new friends.
    Too often at these events, it’s clear all the volunteers are talking to each other and having a great time, kind of like the way all of an artist’s friends come to a exhibit opening and celebrate. That may be great for all the friends, but it can make newcomers feel they’ve crashed a private party — when these newbies should be the guests of honor.
    Marketing can be expensive, but these ideas are free, except for the cost of a few business cards, and just common sense.

    June 17, 2008
  2. Mary Rossing said:

    Some good ideas, Anne. I am the emcee for the evening, so I will try to be extra aware of first timers and be welcoming. We expect 1000 Carleton alumni at the event so there will be lots of “non-insiders” so everyone can feel very comfortable taking part in this community event. I love the idea of name tags, but others are reluctant…maybe we can convince them.

    Patty Cash the downtown cow and her farmer friend will be downtown handing out coupons from many businesses during the event and welcoming folks as well. The stores are open because it is Thursday night, and the weather promises to be beautiful as well. One request, Anne. If you make it downtown please introduce yourself to me as I believe we have never met.
    See you downtown!

    June 17, 2008
  3. Julie Bixby said:

    Are you volunteering to implement all these fantastic ideas? We need more people to help out as many of us are not only on the Taste Committee but also business and/or restaurant owners.

    (Does anyone know how to ‘clone’ effectively?)

    All have worked very hard and it will be worth all the hours that have been invested so far. It will be a tremendous success and I appreciate being a part of it all!


    June 17, 2008
  4. Anne Bretts said:

    Julie, I’m not clear why you need help to slap on a name tag and say hello and put out a clipboard out for people to sign. Seems pretty self-service to me, which is why I made the suggestions. Why would you need help to be friendly?

    June 17, 2008
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Anne, your comment “Why would you need help to be friendly?” could easily be taken as an insult.

    It’s no biggie for Julie to put on her own a nametag or put out a clipboard for her business. But to get all the volunteers and downtown retailers to do it, and to set up and staff a booth would take some work.

    June 18, 2008
  6. Anne Bretts said:

    Griff, I get your point and I was ambivalent about using the last line. Mary’s response to my suggestion was quite thoughtful. Frankly, I was stunned and insulted by Julie’s comment, but should not have responded as I did. I apologize.
    We’ve been talking in other threads about how downtown business could attract more people and I just offered a reminder here of some ideas that are free and easy. I found it amazing that Mary said some people objected to wearing name tags (I still don’t get that one.) And Julie’s comment felt to me that she didn’t read the ideas, and that she was just suggesting that I shouldn’t comment because I’m not pulling my weight by volunteering.
    Reading her remarks again, perhaps I was responding based on my overall experiences downtown and not just that comment.
    I’m not a wallflower, and as a reporter and participant I have been to hundreds of events in many communities. I have been to several events in downtown Northfield where it felt like I was crashing someone else’s class reunion. I have seen volunteers so busy with each other that they totally ignored their guests. The blog posts about events also have seemed like private party albums, rather than community stories.
    I have been to gallery openings where this was particularly true, and I’ve watched some people simply duck out without really going through the exhibits. I’ve almost done it myself.
    I’ve talked with gallery staff who agreed that they had to make an effort to greet everyone and make them feel welcome. It wasn’t just my observation.
    After the first few times this happened to me I went to organizations and volunteered. I got involved. I have volunteered hundreds of hours over the last three years, working at and running events where we tried these ideas with great success. I just thought I’d share them.
    Again, I apologize.

    June 19, 2008
  7. Julie Bixby said:

    I do apologize for offending you.

    This project “Taste of Northfield” has been a tremendous amount of work already. Of course, being friendly isn’t added work.
    I felt as if you were saying that we weren’t doing enough. That is always hard to take when we all are doing so much (and there are not a lot of us). It would be nice to hear some compliments for what we do do.
    Of course, we can always improve, as we have each year, and that is why we all get together after the event and make notes of what went well and what could be improved on.

    Again, I do apologize for offending you.

    June 19, 2008
  8. Mary Rossing said:

    Not to worry, Anne. We are all trying to do our best. I try to be very attentive to all customers in my store, but occasionally there are 5 people who need my attention all at once and the phone rings…and then 15 minutes later there is no one in sight. It’s a murpy’s law sort of thing.

    A similar thing happens at community events. People have worked really hard planning for and then setting up the event and then sometimes stand back and take a breather–in a clump with the people they have been working with–just when we need to be out there meeting and greeting. Please let’s not be too harsh on anyone else or ourselves.

    Thanks for the reminder, and please, if others have had similar experiences of feeling left out–keep trying. Come downtown and have something to eat and ask a stranger to dance! I will have sign up sheets for anyone who wants to get involved with the NDDC and put on our email update list. I also bought out all the name tags I could find in Northfield.

    See you downtown!

    June 19, 2008
  9. Ross Currier said:

    Okay, a little break from the philosophical debate to talk important details.

    I’ve gotten a number of calls, all with the same question…regarding the tickets.

    Let me make it clear, THE EVENT IS FREE, THE MUSIC IS FREE, THE RE-ENACTMENT IS FREE, and THE DANCING IS FREE. The food costs tickets. You buy tickets and pay for the food with tickets.

    Come on Down(town) and check it out.

    Thanks much.

    June 19, 2008
  10. Jerry Bilek said:

    Good food! had ribs, a brat, lemonade and ice cream.

    June 19, 2008

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