Crowds of people, restaurant cooks serving dishes, sidewalk sales and entertainment filled Main Street in Brighton Friday and Saturday.
Touted by organizers as Brighton’s most popular annual festival, A Taste of Brighton has drawn locals and out-of-towners alike to the city for several years.
“What we hope is it brings more people to the downtown area, not just for Sagano, but for everyone,” said Justin Teuber, a manager of Sagano Japanese Steakhouse.
“Everyone wants to be the best,” because the crowd can sample dishes from many restaurants and compare them, Teuber said. “But it’s just a great way to show what Brighton’s capable of.”
Sagano was among a couple dozen Brighton area eateries that served samples for a few dollars.
But A Taste of Brighton isn’t only about food.
Shops held sidewalk sales and offered entertaining activities, businesses and causes set up booths, and a variety of performers provided family-friendly fun.
Rustic Pointe Home Decor & More owners Cherise and Dan O’Neill set up a sidewalk sale that also featured a special treat. People painted signs using stencils — the shop creates original stencils, like dragons, paw prints and sports-themed graphics — for $5 to $10.
The shop recently expanded, in part to have more room for workshops, Cherise O’Neill said.
“Our workshops were a huge part of why we have the store. …This is my passion behind it. The store boomed first, but now that we’ve expanded, now we’re doing weekly classes.”
She said A Taste of Brighton helps her spread the word about arts and crafts workshops and the store.
Walt Legleitner said he comes to A Taste of Brighton every year.
“I took the day off work,” the Hamburg Township resident said Friday. “We sample a little of this and a little of that. We’ve been up and down the street twice and nibbled on this and that.”
Legleitner said his favorites are Sagano, Bourbon’s and Ciao Amici’s.
Part of the reason he came was to “figure out where we will go out to eat in the next few weeks,” he said.
His sister Debbie Legleitner, of Redford, said she came for the shopping and had fun watching random happenings.
“We watched a little boy demonstrate breaking a board with karate, which was cute,” she said. “He was so proud of himself, and he showed me how.”
PKSA Karate charged people a buck to watch students break boards.
She said she also enjoyed watching Independence Village, a retirement community with a restaurant, make ice cream with liquid nitrogen.
Bouncers and More entertained the kids with a rock wall, “spider jump” trampoline and a few bounce houses, including a water slide.
One Spirit Dance & Fitness caught people’s attention with belly dancing performances by the Mill Pond, which featured dancers donned in elaborate skirts and jangles.
Festivities Friday and Saturday also included live music, fire spinners and a Guinness World Records balloon artist, along with a variety of other happenings.
A Taste of Brighton is a nonprofit organization run by a board that relies on sponsorship and volunteers. Organizers say its a way to promote Brighton businesses and organizations. The event, in its seventh year, has grown from about 50 participating businesses to around 100.
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Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.
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