Diners escape heat for Summer Food Fest

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

Hungry Anoka County residents looking to sample the cuisines of area businesses came to Westwood Middle School Tuesday evening, June 13, for the Summer Food Fest.

This was a new location for the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce’s event, now in its seventh year. The first six years had been scheduled at Aquatore Park and everyone lucked out with good weather the first five years.

A severe thunderstorm forced the event into Fogerty Arena and the Sticks and Stones Restaurant last year, which meant last minute changes to figure out table placement and to get the word out of the venue change.

To play it safe, the chamber chose to just have the event indoors. Although it did not rain this time, severe storms hit Anoka County late Tuesday evening into early Wednesday morning. Chamber president Lori Higgins said the strong winds prevalent during the event would have made it challenging to keep tents up to shield tables from the heat.

The Westwood Middle School cafeteria also gave diners tables to sit on.

Higgins said people seemed happy with the new location. Approximately 550 people attended, which was higher than last year.

“I know the air conditioning was a big hit,” she said.

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Blaine residents Amy Kuehl and her son, Owen, get a slice of pizza from Tiffany Downing of Broadway Bar and Pizza. This restaurant has Anoka County locations in Blaine, Coon Rapids and Fridley. The MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce held its seventh annual Summer Food Fest at Westwood Middle School on June 13. Photos by Eric Hagen The Olden family from East Bethel tries a beef brisket sandwich from Q Bitez, which is an Anoka business. The June 13 event was held at Westwood Middle School and drew about 550 people. After severe weather forced the Summer Food Fest indoors last year, the MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce decided it would be best to schedule the June 13 event indoors. Tables and food vendors were set up inside Westwood Middle School in Blaine, but there were other activities outside.
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Blaine residents Amy Kuehl and her son, Owen, get a slice of pizza from Tiffany Downing of Broadway Bar and Pizza. This restaurant has Anoka County locations in Blaine, Coon Rapids and Fridley. The MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce held its seventh annual Summer Food Fest at Westwood Middle School on June 13. Photos by Eric Hagen