WESTPORT, Conn. – Use your taste buds to tour the Saugatuck section of Westport during the second annual Slice of Saugatuck Festival, happening this Saturday.
Food lovers from Westport and beyond can sample fare from 23 eateries, including Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge, Mansion Clam House and the Black Duck Café as well as Saugatuck newcomers Bistro 88, Embody Fitness Gourmet and Papadum. Adult festival-goers can wash it all down with wine samples from Saugatuck Wine & Spirits.
The festival isn’t just about food, though. Many of Saugatuck’s retailers are joining in on the fun. For example, you can get your hair braided at Paul Albert Salon or a haircut at Ron’s Barber Shop, and try your hand at kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding at Downunder Kayaks.
“The whole point of the festival is for families from Westport and surrounding environs to come and enjoy everything Saugatuck has to offer,” said festival creator Matthew Mandell, who also represents the Saugatuck area on the town’s legislative body, the Representative Town Meeting.
Other highlights include gift basket making at Indulge by Mersene, yoga/Pilates at Saugatuck Studios, fly-fishing demonstrations by Westport Outfitters, Tae Kwon Do demonstrations from World Championship Tae Kwon Do, and behind-the-scenes tours of the historic Saugatuck firehouse.
Live music will be performed by six bands at four locations throughout the festival, and a balloon bender will be on hand to entertain kids.
Unlike last year, there’s a $5 all-inclusive participation fee for adults and children 13 and older. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Gillespie Center food pantry. The pantry is operated by Homes With Hope, a Westport-based nonprofit that provides supportive housing to the homeless.
"It's food for those who can afford, and food for those who can't," said Mandell. "It's a win-win."
Guests wearing the admission wristband can eat and drink as much as they want, and participate in as many activities as they can. Children 12 and under are free. And, as Mandell said, anyone is welcome to come and listen to the music for free.
The festival will take place from noon to 3 p.m. For more information, including a map of participating merchants, visit the official Slice of Saugatuck website.
(NOTE: Railroad Place will be closed to vehicular traffic during the festival, but access to the train station will not be interrupted.)