The goal for A Taste of Ripon is to showcase local businesses in a fun-filled atmosphere featuring fine wines and great food.
The 24th annual event on Thursday did that and more, according to Ripon Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kelly Donohue.
For starters, the evening weather cooperative nicely – dry and comfortable temperatures in the mid-50s.
“We were lucky this year with the weather,” she said.
A Taste of Ripon was sold out weeks earlier, with 600 enjoying the holiday atmosphere with plenty of spirits while along familiar faces along downtown and getting in some evening shopping.
“Let’s just say my cash register has been moving,” said Janet Dyk of Magpie Antiques and All Things Inspiring, which was among the 27 participating businesses.
She’s been involved in Taste of Ripon since opening the business at 140 S. Walnut St. some seven years ago.
Magpie featured a soup bar to go along with the wine choices. As one of the sponsors for A Taste of Ripon, the locally owned and operated McManis Family Vineyards provided the commemorative wine glasses.
Joan Corso, Tammy Slotterbeck and Bonnie Farmer were among the many who look forward each year to A Taste of Ripon.
They look forward to an evening of winetasting along with food and hors d’oeuvre offerings and wandering into the various businesses.
“We didn’t even know this was here,” said Slotterbeck, referring to Realty One Group, 101B W. Main St.
She also raved about the food served up for the occasion at Sana Food Mart & Deli, located a few feet from the real estate business.
Henry Brooks, who is a real estate consultant at Realty One Group, offered up a large variety of wine choices, including a varietal of local reds and whites along with at least on Chilean import.
He was helped out by his wife, Karen, and Todd and Annette Roddan.
Those participating at this Chamber-sponsored event signed in and picked up their wine glass at either the Ripon Memorial Library or the Silverado Building.
They were also provided with a map of the participating businesses and had the option being shuttled over via limo service.
The sounds of downtown featured piped-in Christmas music and even caroling by Ginny Burroughs and her Sweet Harmony group.