Elkhart County 4-H Fair 2015: Dinner in the Park brings pop-up restaurants, music to Heritage Park

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By: J.C. Lee
jclee@flavor574.com

Gwen Ragno/Flavor 574

If you’re looking to catch a break from the hustle of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, head over to Heritage Park for some food and tunes.

The fair will host a Dinner in the Park event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25. The event will feature at least two pop-up restaurants and four bands, which will perform jazz, soul and world music.

Michiana’s Jazz Assemblage and Chicago world music band Callaloo will perform at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. respectively Friday. Tennessee’s The Noteables and Chicago’s Souled Out will perform at 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.

“Some of the jazz bands are more like dinner music, just kind of background music to provide an environment for people to sit with friends and family and have dinner,” said Monica Gould, inner grounds entertainment director for the fair. “And if people want to dance and get more involved, we provide the opportunity as well.”

Attendees also can get a bite at two pop-up restaurants from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Youth Ag Education Center next door during the event, both of which will use fruits and vegetables grown from a garden at the fairgrounds. 

On Friday, Bacon Hill Kitchen and Pub will offer a selection of fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs, portobello sliders and grilled romaine salad, said fair board member Sara Granberg. Guests can get one item for $3 or two for $5.

On Saturday, Goshen Brewing Company will dish out the entrees, offering a choice of caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes, double-cream gouda cheese, smoked salt and purple basil, or barbecued black eyed peas with bacon, sour cream, green onions and tortilla chips. Entrees are $3 each.

Bread & Chocolate will serve dessert both Friday and Saturday, offering lemon cheesecake with fresh berries and black forest cupcakes topped with cherries.

Antonio’s Italian Ristorante is another pop-up restaurant which will serve entrees Wednesday, July 29, at the ag center, though it is not associated with the Dinner in the Park event. The restaurant will be taking orders from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

People can bring any other fair food to Heritage Park, an area Gould said could seat hundreds of people. There also will be a mime, magician and balloon artist interacting with the crowd at the two-day event.

“Obviously, the fair is like a big reunion,” she said. “People come from all over (and) come back to where they grew up to be with friends and family, and this kind of capitalizes on that.”

Flavor 574 is sponsoring Dinner in the Park this year.

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