The format will be the same, but this year’s Taste of Oak Ridge will be held at the new Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church on Oak Ridge Turnpike—instead of in Jackson Square. It was moved because organizers weren’t sure when construction work might start on a revitalization project at Jackson Square.
Taste of Oak Ridge features food from Oak Ridge restaurants and performances by local musicians.
The sixth annual festival, scheduled from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, will raise money to benefit the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge. The Free Medical Clinic provides free medical care to residents of Anderson, Roane, and Morgan counties who don’t have insurance and can’t afford to pay for care.
Area restaurants will showcase some of their finest food in small portions. The price range for the “tastes” from each vendor will be $1 to $4 per item. Tickets will be available for purchase at entrances to the event. Attendees can buy as many tickets as they want for $1 each. In addition, beer and wine will be available to buy.
This year’s Taste of Oak Ridge will be held in the parking lot of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at its new address at 809 Oak Ridge Turnpike, north of the Joe L. Evins Federal Building.
“We were delighted when our new neighbors at the church offered to host the event this year,” said Manderley Swain, the Jackson Square Merchant’s Association chairperson for Taste of Oak Ridge.
Entertainment will start at 4 p.m. with the Mighty House Band. The ORUUC group performs a diverse range of music from the Beatles to Bob Marley along with several other genres in the mix.
Namoli Brennet takes the stage at 5 p.m. Dubbed “one of the best folk-rock artists in the country” and a transgender artist, Brennet has a poignant, introspective, and sometimes hard-hitting musical style that has won praise and accolades from critics and fans alike, the press release said. “She’s been described as a cross between Lucinda Williams, Patty Griffin, and Sheryl Crow,” the release said. Zocalo magazine called her music “gorgeous and introspective.”
Starting at 6 p.m. the ORUUC Sorta Singers will be serving up some favorite folk songs from the ’60s to more current ballads. The group is made up of singers and musicians who enjoy entertaining audiences with their eclectic style and choices of music.
The Black Oak Brass Quintet will start at 7 p.m. Formed in 2013, the group prides themselves on performing various genres of music at the highest caliber.
Performers from the Coffeehouse at First Presbyterian Church of Oak Ridge will be on stage from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Started as a single fundraising event for the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge in the summer of 2012, the Coffeehouse series has now hosted more than 25 concerts. Eclectic may be good way to describe this set for the individual performers, the release said. They create sounds that are fresh and fun simultaneously. Artists due to appear are Walker Marema, Taylor Kress, Maddie Buckner, Sydney Buckner, and Nic Cagle.
Birdwell Catering joins JSBA members heading the list of major sponsors this year. They include Capital Mark Bank and Trust, which is providing bottled water for the event, ORUUC for underwriting the appearance of singer-song writer Namoli Brennet, RNfit Weight Management, and Joyce, Meredith, Flitcroft and Normand Law office; the firm has been in Jackson Square for more than 60 years. Other JSBA member sponsors include the Ferrell Shop/Spotted Spaniel, Continuous Threads Sewing Studio, S&R insurance Services, the Soup Kitchen, Cutie Patootie’s Repeat Boutique, and the Locally Grown Gallery.
For more information, call (865) 964-2178.