Taste of Rosefest sets record attendance

Kathy Clarys sang for the benefit of Roseville Area Schools -- the Roseville Rotary donates a large chunk of the proceeds from Taste of Rosefest to the school district. (Pam O’Meara/Review)
Kathy Clarys sang for the benefit of Roseville Area Schools -- the Roseville Rotary donates a large chunk of the proceeds from Taste of Rosefest to the school district. (Pam O’Meara/Review)
Central Park’s Muriel Sahlin Arboretum offered up perfect weather for Taste of Rosefest 2015. (photo courtesy of Al Maurine)
Central Park’s Muriel Sahlin Arboretum offered up perfect weather for Taste of Rosefest 2015. (photo courtesy of Al Maurine)
There was no shortage of conversation starters at Taste of Rosefest. (Pam O’Meara/Review)
There was no shortage of conversation starters at Taste of Rosefest. (Pam O’Meara/Review)

A record-breaking crowd of more than 800 guests gathered in Central Park’s Muriel Sahlin Arboretum on the evening of June 25 for the Roseville Rotary-sponsored Taste of Rosefest. They came to eat and drink, meet friends and neighbors, listen to lively music, enjoy the fountain and flower and rain gardens, and bid on dozens of silent auction items ranging from sports and concert tickets and artworks to a glider ride.

Many of Roseville’s popular restaurants served up samples of their food, ranging from Green Mill’s spinach salad with cheese tortelloni, Buffalo Wild Wings’ chicken wings, Jimmy John’s avocado veggie and turkey sandwiches, Big Bowl’s peanut noodles and spring rolls to Leeann Chinís bourbon chicken, Culver’s frozen custard, and craft beer and wine from Cellars Wines and Spirits.

White tents and tables dotted the park and some people brought their own chairs or sat on the lawn, picnic-style.

For the first year, the Taste strived to be a zero-waste event with all waste recycled or composted.

The Roseville Lutheran Church Jazz Band played popular tunes in the music pavilion and singers Kathy Clarys and Jeff Bowar belted out a few songs. Rick Vanderwall, a faculty member of the University of Northern Iowa, performed acoustic guitar selections near the entrance as guests arrived.

After all expenses are paid, the Roseville Rotary Club should end up with more than $40,000 to donate to various community organizations, including $20,000 to jump start the new STEAM program -- science, technology, engineering, art and math -- at Central Park Elementary School.

Phase one will begin in the fall and eventually spread to other schools. Students will rotate though the specially equipped lab about twice a week. The district says it will emphasize science and technology learning because in the future that’s where the jobs will be. Roseville Rotary made a three-year funding commitment to the program.

Guests commented on how much fun the event was, and how they plan to attend again next year to support the Roseville area community while enjoying lots of good food, good beer and wine, and bumping into old friends.

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