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Why Taste of the Oregon is a must-go

Some of your favorite restaurants in the Oregon District will be showing off their favorite menu items -- some of them for just 3 dollars -- during the third annual Taste of the Oregon event.

We repeat: All restaurants participating will feature at least one item on their menu for $3.

But, it’s more than an opportunity to taste some of the great food in the Oregon District, it’s also an illustration of unique tastes that make up Dayton’s Oregon.

To help prepare you for what's in store on Sunday, Dayton.com spoke with Amy Zahora, who is the executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, the organization responsible for helping plan the Taste of the Oregon. She gave us details on all the deals to expect. You can also look forward to other businesses outside of restaurants to be participating — clothing stores and bands will make for the perfect combination of a fun atmosphere and savings.

Here’s what to expect at the Taste of the Oregon from Executive Director Amy Zahora:

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Why should people get excited?
AZ: It’s a really neat way to experience all things in the Oregon District. Businesses are open, and the restaurants are all serving different cuisines right outside their restaurants. So, it’s a really good way to sample some of the restaurants coming in that maybe you’ve never gone to before and then maybe you could go back to again. Everyone has something from $3 to $6 — and that’s Jay’s, Willie’s, Thai 9, all of them. So it’s a really great way to sample the restaurants. The streets are shut down, we have a lot of fun things going on. We have The Menus playing at 3 p.m., free admission — of course! We also have, for the kids, the Bat Mobile, the Robin vehicle and the Joker. There is also going to be an appearance from Batman. We have a musical performer called We, the Music who interacts with the kids — this is musical fun for the kids because they get them involved and everything. We have a DJ setup and entertainment on both sides of the street. We also have entertainment at Trolley Stop and a DJ playing as well, from 2 until 5.

It’s not just food. It’s music and entertainment. The shops are open — the art galleries — it’s just a great way to experience the Oregon District.  

Which dishes are really popular or do you think we should try?

AZ: They all are so good. But, I love Jay’s Seafood’s fish tacos, and who doesn’t love Oregon Express’s Pizza — they are going to have Pizza for $3. Lily’s has some pretty cool stuff that they are serving too, as well at Trolly. Hey all have unique and different menus, and then Oregon Express has pizza by the slice — their pizza is excellent.

What is one thing people wouldn’t expect about the Taste of the Oregon?
AZ:
There is going to be entertainment up and down the streets, and it’s free entertainment, which is really nice. The live music featuring The Menus, we are featuring one other band before them — The Not That Bad Band. What I enjoy most about it is being able to walk up and down Fifth Street there in the Oregon and just being able to walk around freely, being able to go into shops without worrying about traffic. It’s a neat thing. It’s one of my favorite events that we do.

We have a lot of people who partner with us to, like the Downtown Dayton Partnership is partnering with us, Carl’s Body Shop — they are bringing all the cars down for the kids — they are also providing the stage which is pretty cool. They bring two of the flatbed tow trucks, and we back them up to one another, and that’s the stage. Everything is just cool — everything is really neat! It’s a fun group of people and a neat experience. Everybody loves it, and it just keeps on getting bigger and bigger.

Give us an idea of the savings
AZ: The biggest thing is the food. I mean, people will be able to sample all of the different types of food in the Oregon District. They don’t necessarily have to go in and dine but they can sample something. Like from Jay’s for instance, for $3. They can then decide ‘hey this is pretty good, and I want to go there and have dinner.’ I think that’s the biggest thing that we have deals on is the food. The beer is pretty inexpensive, too. We have craft beer for $4 and domestic 16-ounce bottles for $3.

This is a way for restaurants to showcase their businesses and what they do to people in Dayton and to get some new customers. It’s all about promoting all things Oregon.

Want to go?
WHAT:
The Taste of the Oregon
WHEN:
Sunday, Aug.30 from 1-6 p.m.
WHERE:
The Oregon District, Fifth Street and South Jefferson, Dayton, OH 45402 
COST:
Free admission
MORE INFO:
Website | Facebook | (937) 461-6872

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