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‘Foodies’ fill the streets at annual Taste of Dorset

People attending the annual Taste of Dorset make their way through the streets to sample food created by local restaurants and food vendors. (Photos by Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise)1 / 7
Four-year-old Gwendolyn Davis of Salt Lake City, Utah is the 2016 Mayor of Dorset. She was not present for Sunday's election and her name was drawn from the ballot box by former mayors Deb Ahl (1999) and Robert Tufts. Outgoing mayor James Tufts, left, was also on hand for the election drawing. Robert served as mayor twice in 2013 and 2014. 2 / 7
Tim and Diane Shey of Big Mantrap Lake eat pizza outside the Dorset House during this year's Taste of Dorset.3 / 7
Jackson Booth, left, of Laporte, and Damien Mackenney and James Mackenney, both on holiday from England, eat corn and pork chops as they make their way around the Taste of Dorset "Hungry Games" on Sunday.4 / 7
Workers from Companeros and the Dorset House flash mob in the street as spectators gather round to watch the dancing during Taste of Dorset.5 / 7
Members of First English Lutheran Church serve sweet corn during the Taste of Dorset.6 / 7
Charles Dutschkal of Nevis bites into an ear of fresh butter soaked corn at the First English Lutheran Church tent.7 / 7

Food, flashmobs and fair-like fun made up the annual Taste of Dorset held this past Sunday in the self-proclaimed “Restaurant Capital of the World.”.

Local restaurants and food vendors put their tastefully best forward as hundreds of “foodies” made their way through the street celebrating this year’s event with the “Hungry Games” theme.

The first stop for many coming into town from the south was for sweet corn and pie and ice cream served by First English Lutheran Church. The butter-soaked corn is a crowd favorite year after year.

For many in the crowd the Taste of Dorset is about roaming the street and taking in the fair-like atmosphere as a mix of aromas waft over the village.

Tim and Diane Shey live on Big Mantrap Lake and are Taste of Dorset veterans. They’ve attended this food event the last 17 years.

“It’s great, we really enjoy it,” Tim said in between bites of Dorset House pizza. “It’s like a state fair atmosphere but with much better prices.”

Diane said food from Companeros is some of their favorite, and of course the sweet corn is good.

“I don’t think you can find anything you wouldn’t like here,” she added. “We love the spaghetti balls.”

Those spaghetti balls Diane is talking about, served by LaPasta Italian Eatery, were also a hit with the Linder family of Verona, Wisc. Nancy and five children all sat down down to enjoy this curious spaghetti creation which is cooked inside a dough ball and served with marinara. The Linder family was in the area visiting Nancy’s parents, Len and Ellie Lamberty, on Potato Lake.

Nancy, who grew up in Wadena, said last year was the first time they attended the Taste. “It was good so we came back this year.”

The Dorset House had offered a flavor-packed juicy pork chop, breaded mushrooms, onion rings, brats, pizza and ice cream. Other featured food included barbecue brisket and prime rib sandwiches at Lapasta, broasted chicken at Dorset Cafe and barbecue ribs at the Lundrigan’s tent. Two large ribs, with a third thrown in for a simply “happy birthday” to one of the workers.

Entertainment included live music, a one-vehicle royalty parade featuring the Princess of Dorset and a flash mob where crews from Companeros and Dorset house flooded the street a couple times for choreographed dancing.

The Taste even draws international attention.

Damien Mackinney and James Mackinney travel across the pond to stay with the Steve Booth family in Laporte each year. This was the fifth time visiting Taste of Dorset for the Mackinney family who spends holiday here all the way from England. Damien’s 16-year-old daughter, Rosie, even made an unsuccessful bid at being the first British mayor of Dorset.

She didn’t get the votes but four-year-old Gwendolyn Davis of Salt Lake City, Utah did to be named 2016 Mayor of Dorset. Former mayors Deb Ahl (1999) and Robert Tufts drew the winning name. Outgoing mayor James Tufts was also on hand for the election drawing. Robert served as mayor twice in 2013 and 2014.