CROWN POINT – The hottest ticket Friday may not have been the temperature, but the heat from the grills at Taste of Crown Point in Bulldog Park.

Sponsored by the city of Crown Point, the food festival drew 23 restaurants, taverns and caterers downtown.

As Diana Bosse, special events coordinator for the city of Crown Point, explained, “The city wanted to do something that was just Crown Point restaurants. They support many charities and city activities, and this is an opportunity to showcase what Crown Point restaurants have.”

Dining fare at Taste included pizza, steak, seafood, ice cream, gyros and brats, with ethnic foods ranging from pierogi to tacos al pastor.

Mandie Nelson, a co-owner of Pierogi Square, said Taste enabled merchants to support each other while giving Crown Point residents “a chance to see something they might not know about.”

New Widzinski of Schererville brought her son Harvey, 3, to Taste. While Harvey was trying to finish a popsicle, his mother noted, “This is our first time coming here. It’s nice.”

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Megan Finegan, a Crown Point resident, and her daughter Lucy, 6, had ordered from multiple restaurants for a steak sandwich, sushi, lam chops, pizza and, Lucy’s favorite, a banana dipped in chocolate.

“We like all the different food opportunities,” the mother said. “We can try a little bit of everything.”

Bosse explained that while previously Taste had combined food and arts, the city wanted to return to focusing solely on local food establishments.

“That’s a great idea,” said John O’Block, a co-owner of Tavern on Main. “Everything is under one roof and it’s only Crown Point restaurants. This brings the community together.”

With Crown Point hosting the Ohio Valley Baseball Tournament a few blocks away from Bulldog Park, at least one team made it to the food. Members of the Logansport Berries 12-year-old squad tried the Italian ice and ice cream, among other treats.

“We heard about this from some baseball people,” said Logansport coach J.D. Dubes. “The food is great. Definitely not a disappointment.”

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