History of the Taste

As Told by Frank Scholle, Founder of the Taste of Colerain

My wife Betty and I attended the Taste of Blue Ash on several occasions. The Taste of Blue Ash was very enjoyable and well organized with many name restaurants, enjoyable activities, and top notch performers. On our way home from the Taste of Blue Ash in 1989, the thought occurred to me to have a Taste of Colerain.

As I thought more about it, I wondered if we could do it. As a member of LaSalle Council, Knights of Columbus, I proposed the idea to our council at one of our meetings. The members seemed to like the idea and that we ought to pursue putting on a Taste.

I approached the City of Blue Ash and they gave us all the forms, documents and contracts and other necessary paper work for us to lay the groundwork for the first ever Taste of Colerain.

Planning for the Taste of Colerain

Our Council was very enthusiastic about sponsoring an event similar to the Taste of Blue Ash. We had a booth at the downtown Oktoberfest since the early 1980s, so we had some background on what we needed to do. As the planning began, one of the first areas of concern was whether we had enough electricity to even put on the event. Thanks to the Groesbeck Civic Club, we were able to tap into their electrical boxes for the power needed to put on the first Taste of Colerain. 

The next hurdle for the Council was deciding on a date to hold the Taste. It seemed that most church festivals and Taste’s were held in August and September. The Council decided to hold our event in August.

Taste of Colerain Logo

The Council went to the local high schools asking that the students participate in a contest to design The Taste of Colerain logo. The contest was won by Tom Ballman. The new logo appeared on bumper stickers, posters, and many other promotional items. Royal Crown Cola and 7Up provided us with free posters.

Restaurants & Other Local Groups

Our next effort was to procure a number of restaurants and other local groups for our event. The LaSalle Ladies Auxiliary sold lemonade, ice tea and coffee from their booth, while Ann’s handled the soft drink concessions. We were very fortunate in having these restaurants in the first Taste of Colerain: 

  • Bob Evans
  • Goodies Southern Style Barbecue
  • Ground Round
  • Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream
  • Maury’s Tiny Cove
  • Olive Garden
  • Pizza Hut
  • Ponderosa
  • Prime and Wine
  • Red Lobster
  • Rolling Pin Pastries
  • Round Table Catering
  • Sweet Endings
  • Wenker’s Bakery
  • Wok Right In

The businesses felt it was a unique opportunity to get involved in a community activity that would give them more exposure at a family oriented event and to get new customers.

Police & Fire Department Involvement

The Colerain Township Police and Fire Departments were on site to provide services as needed. We paid for the police protection and rented port-o-lets and a dumpster from Rumpke.

First Taste of Colerain

The first Taste of Colerain was a two day event, Saturday 2 to 10 p.m. and Sunday Noon to 9 p.m. The Taste of Colerain did not become a three day event until the Council, with the enormous help from Lou Blessing, our State Representative, hosted the Ohio State Lottery Friday night of the third Taste of Colerain. This was a real accomplishment for us since the Lottery only goes on the road 3 to 4 times a year

At the opening of the first Taste of Colerain, the Gailey VFW Post Color Guard raised the flag following the Pledge of Allegiance. The Colerain Township Administration permitted us to use the Township flag and to fly it from our flag pole below the United States flag. The 4th Degree Knights of Columbus acted as honor guard and the 20-member Queen City Ensemble Band played the National Anthem. The ribbon cutting ceremony included congressional candidates Ken Blackwell and Charlie Luken, Colerain Township Trustees Patricia Clancy, Ralph Sandoz and Joseph Wolterman.

Jim Knippenberg of the Cincinnati Enquirer was one of the judges for: 

  • Best appetizer
  • Best entrée
  • Best decorated booth
  • Best dessert
  • Best soup or salad

Fire Safety House
The City of Blue Ash loaned us their Fire Safety House which was on site at the Taste of Colerain for two days.

Other Activities
Throughout the first event there was face painting, balloon sculptures, a caricature artist, and entertainment by a juggler/magician and street musicians. We had an Elvis impersonator who was escorted by police, for effect, from our hall to the entertainment stage. There were two local radio stations with mobile units at the Taste of Colerain. There was a tethered hot-air balloon sponsored by Pizza Hut that took people 100 feet up in the air. Due to limited space, the balloon was over on St. Ann’s property. 

A tent, with tables and chairs was provided for attendees to rest, relax and enjoy the offerings from the Taste of Colerain. The Taste of Colerain workers wore red t-shirts displayed with the Taste of Colerain logo. T-shirts bearing messages unique to Colerain Township- “I survived Colerain and Galbraith” and “Where is Bevis, Ohio?” were sold. The LaSalle High School Marching Band and Flag Corps presented a concert on Sunday afternoon for Taste of Colerain visitors. Every effort was made to entice the Colerain Township residents to the Taste of Colerain and keep them entertained so they would stay awhile.

First Co-Chairs of Taste of Colerain

Frank Scholle and Charlie Homer co-chaired the Taste of Colerain from 1990 to 1994, but almost every member of LaSalle Council helped to get is started and grow, from its humble beginnings. LaSalle Council made every effort to get the Taste of Colerain off to a community acceptable start.

Moving the Taste of Colerain

There’s an old expression, “Great oaks from little acorns grow.” With limited space, resources and talent we, LaSalle Council Number 5621 Knights of Columbus, hosted the Taste of Colerain from 1990 to 1994 on our council grounds located at 3000 W Galbraith Road, next to the Groesbeck library. With the assistance from the late Greg Snyder, Colerain Township Director of Parks and Services, the event moved to the Colerain Township Senior and Community Center and as it continued to grow, to the present location at the Colerain Township Administration Complex. Many volunteers from the community have been involved over the years who gave countless hours of their time to continue what we started - a major Township event that will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2014.

Thank you all very much for the great start, we appreciate it.
Frank Scholle