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Taste of Bragg Creek is coming back April 21.

After a long hiatus due to global forces beyond anyone’s control, the popular Taste of Bragg Creek is coming back – under a newly improved format – on April 21.
The Taste of Bragg Creek is back April 21.

Bragg Creek's tastiest public event is returning to the hamlet on April 21.

After a long hiatus due to global forces beyond anyone’s control, the popular Taste of Bragg Creek is coming back – under a newly improved format – on that date.

COVID-19 brought the eighth annual celebration of Bragg Creek’s culinary sector to a halt in March 2020.

So, while it may not technically meet the criterion of being an “annual” event as a result, the food-sampling extravaganza is certainly back in a new format, and according to event founder Charlie Holschu, there is at least one aspect that qualifies as “new and exciting.”

“It’s exciting that we’re having it again, which is amazing,” Holschu said. “And you know, it’s time to have some fun again.”

Holschu considers himself lucky that the sizable team he’s put together to organize the upcoming event came through the pandemic together and stronger than ever.

Whereas in previous years, attendees would all gather at the community centre for the entire event, this year, participating restaurants and pubs will offer their taste experiences on site.

Tickets will still be sold at the community centre, but then participants will venture out into the hamlet to their restaurants of choice.

“We’re really being careful with COVID-related issues, so we’ve decided to have the event around Bragg Creek,” he said.

“The community centre would get 600 people there – it was too crowded.”

The only venue that won’t be within an easy walking distance will be The Bavarian Inn, but the rest will be within the hamlet’s core. (Though on a nice day, the Inn is certainly a walkable distance away from Bragg Creek's main shopping plaza).

Local restaurants will be teaming up with liquor reps, breweries, and distilleries, offering samples of their menu items to enthusiastic attendees.

Holschu said first-time visitors may be surprised at the range of available dining options Bragg Creek has to offer. He singled out two high-end establishments in particular.

“The Italian Farmhouse has won awards as a top romantic restaurant, and The Bavarian Inn has been awarded customers’ choice awards for years,” he said.

He said the Inn will be featuring a Bavarian goulash, and a meatball dish in caper sauce.

Patrons will have a wide variety of other cuisines and tastes to choose from, however, and depending on what the weather is like, patios will be a viable option for places like the Powderhorn Saloon, which is well-known for its pub fare.

Asian cuisine, pizza, and two bakeries are just some of the options awaiting hungry visitors.

Many restaurants are also pairing up with liquor representatives, breweries and distilleries.

And even non-food-related businesses are getting in on the fun, as some local store front boutiques will be showcasing their wares as well.

Organizers have used the last three years to reflect on the past, considering questions like what the Taste of Bragg Creek means to vendors, and to the community at large.

When it started in 2013, the goal was to bring visitors to the hamlet – not only to showcase the cuisine, but to show off the warmth and hospitality of the southwest Rocky View County community, surrounded by the charming scenery.

Holschu say they are striving to return to those roots.

“Our theme this year is ‘keep it simple,’” he said. “Each year we have tried to come up with something new to continue to draw a crowd, but we realized that was unnecessary.”

Parking will be at the community centre at 23 Whyte Ave., where tasting tickets will be sold for $2 each. A map will then be provided for visitors to set out on their tours.

Proceeds will be split 50/50 between participating restaurants and the community association, along with Bragg Creek’s local musical theatre group, Swamp Donkey Musical Theatre.

There will also be ticket sales at centrally located spots in both main malls.

The event runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 21.

Howard May

About the Author: Howard May

Howard was a journalist with the Calgary Herald and with the Abbotsford Times in BC, where he won a BC/Yukon Community Newspaper Association award for best outdoor writing.
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