Dining and revelry have long drawn visitors to Pawtuxet Village.
That tradition continues today, with a range of restaurants part of the village’s thriving business community.
On Tuesday, Sept. 24, to put a spotlight on what Pawtuxet has to offer in terms of culinary options and beyond, the annual Taste of Pawtuxet Village event will return for its ninth installment.
“When I was putting this together, I couldn’t believe we’ve been doing this for that long,” said Marta V. Martinez, chair of Friends of Pawtuxet Village. “What makes this a success is that every business participates. They look forward to it.”
The Taste event will run from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Imperial Room at One Rhodes Place in Cranston. The cost is $25 per person in advance or $30 at the door, and a cash bar will be available.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be purchased online at friendsofpawtuxetvillage.org or at two Pawtuxet businesses – Twice Told Tales at 2145 Broad St. and Cork & Brew at 2200 Broad St.
Martinez, whose group sponsors the event in partnership with the Pawtuxet Village Merchants, said the Taste event’s focus on food has deep roots in the village’s history. She noted that Pawtuxet once was renowned for its taverns.
“The village really is a destination to eat…It still reflects that history,” she said.
The initial culinary-centered approach soon grew to include Pawtuxet’s retail stores as part of a push to make the event fully “representative of what Pawtuxet Village is,” Martinez said.
The enthusiasm for the event, she said, is “just amazing.” Restaurants are asked to bring a new or popular dish, and she said in some cases, participants go well beyond that and “actually put meals together.”
Revolution, for example, has offered sirloin tips with sides, while O’Rourke’s has brought multiple dishes for Taste visitors to enjoy.
“There’s maybe a little bit of a competition” among the restaurants, Martinez said.
As the years have passed, Taste of Pawtuxet Village has extended its reach well beyond Cranston and Warwick.
“It was originally a way to bring the community together…It’s gotten to the point where we’ve gotten visitors from as far as Massachusetts,” Martinez said. “That helps bring people back. They love being able to try all the restaurants.”
This year’s participating establishments include Basta Italian Restaurant, Edgewood Cheese Shop and Eatery, Schasteâ, Fellini Pizzeria, The Imperial Room, Little Falls Café, O’Rourke’s Bar & Grille, Revolution American Bistro, Rim Nahm Thai Cuisine and Vatsana Thai Restaurant.
Attendees at Taste will have the chance to win door prizes from a number of Pawtuxet businesses, including Art & Soul, Bobby Pins, Cork & Brew, Lanes on Broad, Noon Design, Pawtuxet Sunoco, Tag Sale Treasures, Twice Told Tales, Lane’s on Broad, Village Art & Antiques, Wil.O Hair Design and more.
Additionally, Czésare Santana, a Latin alternative folk and world music singer-songwriter, will provide entertainment during the event.
Martinez said the event also serves as a kick-off for the Friends of Pawtuxet Village’s fall activities, including the eighth annual Scarecrow Contest in October and the Halloween celebration scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26.
During the Scarecrow Contest, local organizations and individuals are invited to adopt one of the village’s historic light poles and create a scarecrow to display. Visitors vote on the various creations, and the winner will be announced Oct. 25. Proceeds from the event will go toward a charitable donation.
As part of the Halloween celebration, adults and children are encouraged to wear costumes as they walk through the village. Youngsters will receive candy from local businesses.
“I don’t even have to promote it – people just show up,” Martinez said of the popular Halloween event.
To learn more about Taste of Pawtuxet Village and other upcoming events, visit friendsofpawtuxetvillage.org.