Vadnais Heights kicks off summer with Taste of Vadnais


Families socializing on the Commons courtyard at last year’s Taste of Vadnais. (submitted photos)

Joe Cruz and Jennifer Grimm performing at the 2012 Taste of Vadnais. This year’s musical act is the local band “Shake Down.”

Girls lining up to get their faces painted at Taste of Vadnais last year. Taste of Vadnais is a family-friendly event with free entertainment and games for children and adults.

The city of Vadnais Heights is making final preparations for its annual summer kick off — Taste of Vadnais. The 13th annual celebration of this event will take place on Thursday, June 6 from 6-9 p.m. at the Vadnais Heights Commons.

The event is free and will feature live music from the Shake Down Band, as well as food choices from several local eateries and merchants, with offerings like pizza, bakery goods, frozen custard, fresh sweet corn, chicken wings and much more.

Some of the local vendors providing food will be Culvers, Jimmy’s Food and Drink, Grandma’s Bakery, the Vadnais Heights Lions Club, Mad Jack’s, Perkins, Festival Foods, Savoy Pizza and That’s Amore.

Vadnais Heights Recreation Supervisor Brigid Nault said food items would be offered at a nominal cost — lower than what they would be at the establishments — to absorb some of the costs of staffing the event.

In addition to the live music and plentiful food offerings, Nault said there would be plenty of other free entertainment at the family-friendly event.

A face painter will be onsite as well as a clown, who will make free balloon animals for the kids (or adults if they so choose). The city’s park and recreation staff will be towing around a party wagon with a parachute game, as well as other games for kids of all ages to play.

Several city staff, commission members and members from local organizations and service clubs will be on hand at booths set up in the Commons to answer questions and notify residents about new happenings in Vadnais Heights.

The event is a good opportunity for residents to learn about new ventures the city has undertaken and interact with the mayor and city council members.

“I go almost every year,” council member Craig Johnson said. “It’s a chance for us to get our families together and interact. I hope people ask us lots of good questions.”

Council member Joe Murphy said he has been to every Taste of Vadnais celebration since its inception.

“My favorite part of Taste is that it’s finally that time of year when we can get our families together outside,” he said. “And the food, there’s always something new with the food.”

Murphy said it is also an important occasion, because it is an opportunity for the council to learn what residents’ concerns are.

“It’s a chance to hear from people in the city and to talk to folks about what’s new,” he said. “I get a lot of questions about parks and ordinances. It’s always pretty positive.”

Murphy said all the city’s committees would be at the Commons to get out information specific to each organization.

The planning committee, for example, will update residents on the progress being made on the new Alina Clinic, Fairfield Hotel and the Summit Orthopedics Center being constructed, which are all slated for completion in about a year from now.

Murphy said there are also some significant park improvements underway in the city as well.

“What I’ve heard from people over the years is that they like living in Vadnais Heights for our quality streets, schools, parks and trails,” the council member said.

The 13th Annual Taste of Vadnais will take place rain or shine at the Vadnais Heights Commons, located at 655 East County Road F on Thursday, June 6 from 6-9 p.m.

Tables and chairs will be set up on the outdoor courtyard, along with a stage for the Shake Down Band to perform on, weather permitting. If it rains all events will take place inside the Commons.

For additional information on Taste of Vadnais, visit the city website:  www.cityvadnaisheights.com or call City Hall: 651-204-6000.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at  jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

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