Taste of East Lansing brings out community members


After eight months of planning, East Lansing residents, MSU students and local vendors gathered on Albert Street to get a taste of East Lansing.

With live music, a variety of food and great weather, people packed into the block for the second annual Taste of East Lansing event to try food from local businesses and raise money for the East Lansing Rotary Club and the Community Relations Coalition, or CRC.

The proceeds from the event were unable to be determined directly after the event but Carter said she thinks they have doubled what was raised last year.

Taste of East Lansing Administration Coordinator Aleece Carter said last year they sold about 3,000 tickets and raised around $1,500, however this year she hoped to raise more, with a personal goal of $4,000.

Considered as one of the biggest events of the year by CRC intern Troy Anderson, the group was excited about the early turnout for the event and anticipated even more people stopping by throughout the evening.

“This is our largest event of the year, and it’s awesome that everyone’s out,” Anderson said. “We have a whole great event going on here with about 15 to 16 food vendors. All the music is local (from) the MSU College of Music. It seems like everyone is loving it.”

Three different local bands played throughout the evening as people were able to try food from places such as Noodles & Company, Buffalo Wild Wings, Wanderer’s Tea House and Menna’s Joint. Tickets were available to the public for $2, which were used to buy food from one of the various vendors.

“Everybody says ‘Oh I’ve driven by your store but I’ve never stopped in,” anthropology senior and Menna’s Joint employee Emelia Carter said. “Now, they’re actually getting a chance to try it. We’ve already ran out three times and it’s only been open for a half hour. We’ve had to run back to our grill quite a few times.”

The CRC began planning for Taste of East Lansing back in September and was able to line up all the vendors a month and a half before the event, with donations coming in from all over, Carter said.

“We do events and programming throughout the year, so this even kind of hopefully epitomizes and (brings) together everyone to just kind of enjoy our community and learn about what we have to offer as a community.”

The event also included a silent auction where things such as gift cards, a signed basketball from Tom Izzo, tickets to a Detroit Tigers game and a spa treatment package were auctioned off, which brought in about $500 for the organization, Carter said.

Engineering senior Casey O’Donohue did not attend Taste of East Lansing last year, but was looking to take advantage of the sunshine.

“We were just down the road at (Dublin Square Irish Pub), so we thought we’d stop by,” O’Donohue said.

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