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Indulge in Keene’s Culinary Delights at the Annual Taste of Keene Festival

Indulge in Keene’s Culinary Delights at the Annual Taste of Keene Festival

Date: June 1
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Downtown Keene

For the fourth consecutive year, residents and visitors to the Elm City are eagerly anticipating the upcoming Taste of Keene festival, an event highlighting the culinary delights of local eateries. Organized by the Keene Young Professionals Network (KYPN), this year’s festival is scheduled for June 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is set to feature an expanded footprint.

Michael Remy, Events Chair of KYPN, mentioned that June 2 is being considered as a rain date, but emphasized the need for exceptional weather conditions to necessitate the change, given the extensive preparation involved.

During the festival, downtown Keene will come alive with live music and vendors lining the streets, enticing attendees to sample their offerings. Remy noted that over 3,000 people attended last year’s event and anticipates between 35 and 50 participating vendors this year.

The concept of A Taste of Keene originated during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as a celebratory reopening of downtown Keene at a time when many individuals were hesitant to venture out. Remy, who also serves on the city council, highlighted the event’s role in encouraging safe outdoor activities.

Remy observed that the inaugural event’s spirit endures, especially as people tend to spend more time indoors during the colder months. He emphasized the festival’s role in ushering in the beauty of summer and encouraging people to explore downtown Keene.

As in previous years, most vendors will be situated on Central Square and Main Street, with some extending to Roxbury Street. This year’s festival will further extend south on Main Street, accommodating more retailers who wish to set up sales stands on the sidewalk.

To participate, festival attendees can purchase tokens to exchange for food and drink samples. Remy explained that tokens are priced at $2 each, with samples typically ranging from one to three tokens each, allowing attendees to create a diverse culinary experience.

Alcoholic beverages will be served in small sample sizes, with beer and wine offered in 2-ounce pours, and liquor available in small thimbles.

The City Council’s Planning, Licenses, and Development Committee recently endorsed the event plans, with a full council vote scheduled for Thursday.

Remy expressed hopes for ideal weather conditions and encouraged attendees to use the festival as an opportunity to explore new dining experiences in Keene or revisit old favorites.

Sample menus from 2023 Taste of Keene

21 Bar & Grill Menu:

3 Token – Pretzel Bites with Beer Cheese (Vegetarian, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Option, Contains Wheat & Gluten)
2 Token – Pulled Pork Taco with Pineapple Slaw (Contains Wheat & Meat)
2 Token – Corndog Bites (Contains Wheat, Dairy, Egg & Meat)
3 Token – Spinach & Artichoke Dip (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Contains Dairy)
3 Token – Chicken Wrapped in Bacon (Contains Meat)
1 Token – Wild Berry Lemonade
1 Token – Cucumber Mint Limeade
Granita Enoteca Menu:

2 Token – Traditional Sicilian Cannoli (Chocolate & Pistachio) (Vegetarian, Nut-Free Option, Contains Dairy & Gluten)
CC&D’s Kitchen Market Menu:

3 Token – BBQ Pulled Pork Slider (Nut-Free, Contains Meat)
3 Token – BBQ Pulled Pork Sundae (Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Contains Dairy & Meat)
3 Token – Cheese & Charcuterie Platter (Meat-Free Option)
2 Token – D’s Bacon Jam & Crackers (Nut-Free, Contains Meat)
Eat More Cake Menu:

2 Token – Cupcakes (Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free)
3 Token – Brownie (Gluten-Free)
3 Token – Cinnamon Rolls (Gluten-Free)
3 Token – Cookies (Gluten-Free)
1 Token – Water (Cucumber Watermelon, Strawberry Mint or Mixed Berry)
Fireworks Menu:

2 Token – Garlic Mac & Cheese (Vegetarian, Nut-Free, Contains Dairy, Gluten & Soy)
2 Token – BBQ Pulled Pork (Gluten-Free, Contains Soy & Meat)
2 Token – Meatballs (Gluten-Free, Contains Soy, Meat & Dairy)
2 Token – Brick Oven Pizza Slices (Contains Wheat, Dairy, Gluten & Meat)
2 Token – Pomegranate Ginger Mock-a-Rita

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