13th Annual Taste of Lakewood held in Madison Park
On Sunday, June 5th, our event was the 13th Annual Taste of Lakewood held in Madison Park. It lasted from 1pm to 7pm and we deliberately waited until the first round of afternoon rain had dissipated before we headed over there around 4pm.
Among the 36 restaurants/food vendors taking part were Aladdin's Eatery, Angelo's Pizza (we can't get enough of Angelo's - it just might be the best pizza establishment in the Cleveland area); Chow Chow Kitchen; El Carnicero; India Garden; Pepper's Italian Restaurant; Barrio Lakewood; Thai Thai; and T.J.'s Butcher Block and Deli. Certainly Lakewood is a very diverse, accepting community and the restaurants/food vendors on display at the Taste of Lakewood reflected that.
We walked around and watched a smoothie be made via a bicycle turned blender at the Beer Engine booth. We also sampled some very good vegan lemon melon sorbet and water melon ice cream at the tent belonging to Ice Cream Joy.
We spoke to a Lakewood auxiliary police officer who told us that unfortunately not as many people as expected would come due to the weather but, still, attendance should be at least several thousand. The auxiliary police office told us to beware because, according to radar, another storm was on its way and should be arriving in 20 minutes.Sure enough, about 18 min later we had a 5 minute torrential down pour that stopped as quickly as it arrived. We took refuge in the VIP tent and, although we didn't qualify as a VIP, no one seemed to mind. Soon after the storm subsided we were treated to some music by the "Last State of Franklin" band.
A little after 6pm Ms. Patty Ryan, Executive Director of the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce, took to the stage and addressed us for a moment. She said that this was the first time in the 13 years of Taste of Lakewood that rain had been a guest but things were still going very well. She correctly dubbed Lakewood "a restaurant town" and said that this annual event did a fine job prompting the local eateries but it also existed to raise money for scholarships for graduating students from Lakewood and St. Edward High Schools planning to go to college. In fact, there were several places throughout the grounds where one could donate a few extra dollars for the scholarships at this time.
Ms. Ryan introduced Ward 4 Lakewood City Councilman Dan O'Malley who said that he always looks forward to A Taste of Lakewood and that it is one of his favorite days of the year. We had spoken to him earlier and he was very pleased when we told him that Ms. Margaret W. Wong had agreed to be the guest speaker for the Lakewood Democratic Club dinner in July since he believed that immigration is an issue that needs to be discussed from a viewpoint of fairness because, as we know, there are a lot of immigrants and refugees currently living in Lakewood and many of whom reside in his ward.
Then Mayor Michael Summers read off the names of the four students receiving scholarships. Three of them were not present but Mr. Kevin O'Reilly from St. Edward High School was there and he got to be recognized. We were pleased to learn that Mr. O'Reilly is very active in a diversity club at his high school and plans to attend CSU where he will major in nursing. He received an excellent round of applause.
Mayor Summers said, "it takes more than rain to dampen the enthusiasm of Lakewood."
Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC