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Taste of Ripon draws 400 downtown
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A Ripon fire engine with old St. Nick and his sleigh added to the small town flair as Riponites walked Main Street going from store to store to sample everything from wine to hot apple cider and hors d’ hourves. - photo by GLENN KAHL

RIPON — It was a “Taste of Ripon” like none other – with nearly 400 residents swarming into the downtown to greet old friends and neighbors.

“I think it’s great – this is what the holidays are all about,” said chamber of commerce president Red Nutt as he reflected on his many past Christmas seasons in this small, tight knit community.

The organization of the evening was different in that the chamber made use of the empty Ripon Drug Store building as a registration point for the night’s three hour event of wine, hors d’ oeuvres and rubbing elbows with friends – old and new.

The Ripon High School Band added to the spirit of the night playing background music as members of the community filed into the building – the first stop in many they would make up and down Main Street and as far south as Doak Boulevard.

Nutt noted that this year there is a more personal touch with all of the chamber board members or their designates being involved in the program. 

Two Storer buses were hired to shuttle residents around the area to the different shops from Stockton Avenue to near Jack Tone Road.

Ripona School teacher Maryanne Chakraverty was on hand to watch the band and her daughter India on the clarinet saying, “It’s lovely – it brings the whole town together.”

She added that she is thrilled the band is coming out into the community more and become more involved in Ripon’s events.  On Thursday, Dec. 17, band members are holding a food drive while playing with the concert band in front of the Save Mart Market.