HUDSON — As little boys and girls danced on a portable stage nearby, 4-year-old Andrew Harvey and his brothers were building cars made out of Legos to run down a table ramp.
Andrew and brothers, Isaac, 6, and 12-year-old Zachary had full bellies. Their family of five — mom and dad Marie and Shawn Harvey of Aurora were standing nearby — had already been to the food area of the Taste of Hudson for lunch. They’d had hummus and pita bread, pineapple chicken friend rice, jerk chicken, meatball subs and parmesan Tater Tots.
“We come every year,” said Marie Harvey. “It’s lunch, dinner and let the kids play,” she said.
Shawn Harvey said the family had been coming for the Labor Day festival in downtown Hudson since Zachary was about 3.
“I remember having to carry him out screaming” because he was having such a good time, Shawn said of the now 12-year-old.
“It’s nice to spend the day here. You’ve got food, you’ve got activities, what else do you need? As long as it’s not pouring rain, which we’ve had some years,” Shawn said.
In its 13th year, the Taste of Hudson started on Sunday and continued on Monday. Admission was free. Attendees could purchase “small plates” prepared by restaurants, most of which are in the Hudson area.
Participating eateries were Aladdin’s, Beachcomber Truck by Hudson’s, Hudson’s restaurant, Cilantro, Donatos Pizza, Don Patron Mexican Grill, Jaipur Junction, Kepner’s Tavern, One Red Door, Brew Kettle, FlipSide, Rosewood Grill, Oak & Embers Tavern and Tiki Underground.
There was live music on multiple stages, a wine and beer garden and kids’ activities, like the Exploring Ecology Science learning stations presented by the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), which was the sponsor of the Lego car station.
This year, the layout of the festival was a little different, said Marie Harvey. Last year, there were some kids’ bouncy houses across Route 91 near the Hudson gazebo, but Harvey said she appreciated everything being on one side of the busy street. The kids’ area was also expanded and set off from the main food and shopping areas.
There was also a Taste of Hudson Art Fair area with vendors selling various wares.
Julia Pankherst had a bird’s-eye view of the Taste of Hudson. A stilt walker for Cleveland-based Flower Entertainment, Pankherst told one passer-by that she was “just a smile maker.”
Pankherst said she’d been walking on stilts for 26 years. When asked if she could run in them, she said “it’s very clunky.”
Proceeds from the Taste of Hudson are distributed to Hudson-area nonprofits and to Akron Children’s Hospital School Health Services and Sports Medicine. More than $397,000 has been granted since the inception of Taste of Hudson.