by Jim Boyle
The seventh annual Taste of Elk River will feature a new musical act, a record number of food vendors and solid footing no matter what weather Mother Nature throws at it.
The event, which is hosted by the Elk River Rotary, is this Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Lions Park in Elk River, but the tents with all the food, beer, wine and spirits will be situated on top of the parking lot at Lions Park Center.
This year’s signature sponsor is Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton and the Fairview Clinic in Elk River.
“We’re think we’re going to have beautiful weather,” said Nicole Rasmussen, the chair of the this year’s event who has put in an order for a day just like this past Thursday.
The Taste of Elk River is probably due for some good weather, but no matter if there’s wind, rain or cold temperatures, people seem to leave the event smiling. It has been billed as Elk River’s premier social gathering for adults ever since the first event.
The first Taste was perhaps the coldest of all. Last year’s was easily the wettest. But that hasn’t stopped Elk River Rotarians from signing up a record number of food vendors for this year’s event. There are 20 vendors, thanks to many returning ones and new ones like Stone Lounge of Rogers, El Amigo’s of Elk River and Denny’s of Otsego.
There are expected to be everything from ribs and pie to Jucy Lucys from the Elk River Golf Club. There are also 17 beer, wine and spirits vendors to wash it down.
The karaoke contest that was so popular last year will return and there will be a new musical act in Steve Blexrud, a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Minneapolis. He is lead guitarist/vocalist for the Twin Cities band “Thunderheads” and is also an accomplished solo artist.
Blexrud’s roots in rock, folk and blues style comes truly from the heart. You can hear the subtle influence of musicians such as Mark Knopfler, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jerry Garcia and Carlos Santana in his playing, and Steve’s unique voice is polished and full of emotion.
“It’s sounds like a fun event,” he said of the Taste of Elk River. “It’s nice to be outside.”
Blexrud’s bands have opened for national artists Bill Bruford and Merl Saunders. The band was featured on KARE 11 TV, 92 KQRS and Cities 97.
The Elk River Rotary hosts the Taste of Elk River to raise funds for community projects.
•Fairview Northland Medical Center (Princeton) and Fairview Elk River Clinic
•American Family Insurance – Bonnie Koste
•Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
•Cornerstone Auto Resource
•First National Bank
•MN School of Business
•MN Army National Guard
•Metal Craft Machine and Engineering
•Elk River Printing
•Sherburne County Abstract and Title
•The Bank of Elk River
•BOB FM Radio
•City of Elk River