WESTPORT, Conn. -- The fifth annual Slice of Saugatuck Festival in Westport will take dish up a variety of dishes on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. And it's all for a good cause, the Gillespie Center Food Pantry.
For $10 each, or $5 for kids 12 and under, participants can walk the neighborhood, hear eight bands and musicians at six venues, sample specialties from 25 restaurants and eateries and check out 21 merchants. And there’s plenty of close by free parking.
Matthew Mandell, president of the Westport-WestonChamber of Commerce, the event’s creator, recommends that visitors “sample Saugatuck’s food, choose your favorite restaurant and come back for Happy Hour and a great dinner after the festival.”
Railroad Place is one venue. The street will be closed off so participants can hang out, enjoy the Mill River Band and take in a dance exhibition.
There will be a beer garden, and participants can sample food and wine from six restaurants and look in on a half-dozen shops.
Walk over to the Black Duck. Look in on three retail establishments and hear three teenage bands battle it out to raise money for Toquet Hall, Westport’s teen center.
Continue to the Plaza, grab a taste from The Whelk, then a mouthful of Saugatuck Sweets’ ice cream. Watch paddleboard and kayak demonstrations at Downunder. Go across the street to sample from two other gourmet restaurants.
On to the Firehouse, where kids can check out one of Westport’s historic engines and hear firemen talk about home safety. In the same area, there are six more food sampling sites, including the new Parker Mansion and two more merchants.
At Bridge Square, there are four more eateries, a wine merchant and an interior designer called Jan Hiltz Designs. Dunville’s, Cuatro Hermanos and Roly Poly offer samples.
For kids, there is a climbing wall, an obstacle course, bouncy houses, Hula Hoops and a balloon bender.
Walk over to Luciano Park and take part in the Nerdy Derby and watch a drone fly over the park. Listen to Suzanne Sheridan, Outside Chance, Silver Steel and Jon Saxon play at venues around the Saugatuck neighborhood.
Pick up discount coupons and giveaways, get auction tips and look at the display of antique cars.
Mandell said the Chamber created Slice of Saugatuck to promote this resurgent neighborhood. “Today it attracts over 2,000 visitors to an annual event in a neighborhood that is home to more than 50 small, mostly locally owned businesses.”
Parking is on Riverside Avenue under 95 in the Railroad lot No. 5, right next to the new plaza.
For more information on Slice of Saugatuck or to see participants and view a map, click here . Tickets go on sale onsite only beginning at 1:50 p.m. on the day of the event.