GREEN: Raindrops didn’t mar the enthusiasm for great food, good music and fun-filled kids activities displayed Monday at the city’s inaugural Taste of Green.
The event went on as planned under tents that held offerings from local restaurants as well as wine and craft beer. As many as 10,000 people attended the three-day affair, said Debra Sherman, president of Connecting For a Cause, which produced the charitable event.
“Events like these drive economic growth for a community, showcase the community to everyone outside of Green and improve the quality of life for the residents,” said Sherman.
Proceeds from the Taste of Green, sponsored by Akron General Medical Center, will be divided between the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, the Green Schools Foundation and Friends of Green Parks.
The festival held something for everyone, from the YMCA’s Kids Corner to the Legends Wine and Beer Garden.
Children and adults were drawn to two vintage aircraft on display from the MAPS Air Museum in Green that were towed to Town Park Boulevard in the dead of night. They were to return to the museum on International Parkway at 2 a.m. today, escorted by Summit County sheriff’s deputies, said Bob Schwartz, MAPS board chairman.
Volunteers for the museum wheeled in an A-7 Corsair II, a bomber that saw service in Vietnam during the 1960s and 1970s, said Schwartz, who also served in Vietnam as an Air Force general aviator stationed at Phucat Air Base near Qui Nohn from 1966-67.
The plane was displayed on the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York Harbor before the museum took possession, Schwartz said. He credits MAPS Executive Director Kim Kovesci of Green for the five-year reconstruction of the aircraft.
“The plane was sitting in pieces when he joined MAPS and he restored it with help from MAPS volunteers” and completed the project in 2011, Schwartz said.
Children were invited to sit in the bomber as well as an F-9 Cougar reconnaissance plane that carried cameras during the Korean War. The plane is on loan to the museum from a private individual, Schwartz said.
Little ones had their own activities under the big top that included a professional face painter and a ball-juggling councilman, who entertained them as they waited in lines for balloon animals and to be made up to look like their favorite superhero.
“My brother and I got a book at the main branch of the Akron library when we were kids and came home and juggled super balls,” said Green Councilman Gerard Neugebauer.
“Drove my mother insane,” he recalled with a laugh as he sent blue-colored balls sailing high for the children’s amusement.
A long line of children patiently waited for Connie Ritter, the artist behind Faces of Fun of Brecksville, to magically transform them into a fairy princess or Spider-Man.
“It generally takes me about three to five minutes at the longest,” said Ritter, who estimated she painted her colorful designs on as many as 100 children during the three-day event.
The city intends to continue Taste of Green and make it part of its annual Memorial Day events, said Communications Director Valerie Wolford.
“It will be the kickoff to summer and the signature event for the city we hope to do year after year [as it] solidifies that Green is the place to be,” said Wolford.
Kathy Antoniotti can be reached at 330-996-3565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.