By TRAVIS MORSE
---- — MT. VERNON — Sponsors and food vendors have been selected for this year's Downtown After 5 Building Tour and Taste of Mt. Vernon event, which takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 17 at the Mt. Vernon Elks Lodge, 1107 Jordan St.
As part of the annual program, participants tour four renovated buildings downtown and then meet up at the Elks Lodge to taste a wide array of food, beverages and desserts.
This year's buildings include Williamson Asia, 102 N. Ninth St.; RARE Chop House, 224 S. 10th St.; Studio B, 1112 Broadway, Suite 201; and Lowery's Irish Pub, 300 S. Ninth St.
“I think people are really going to be impressed with the things they see,” said Cyndy Mitchell, executive director of the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation. “We're really trying to revitalize the traditional heart of our community.”
The DMDC now hosts the annual program, along with the Mt. Vernon Elks Lodge #819. This is the eighth year for the Building Tour portion of the event and the fourth year for Taste of Mt. Vernon.
Tickets for the event are $10 per person and they go on sale starting next week.
The price of the ticket covers a self-guided tour of the four buildings, as well as the Taste of Mt. Vernon food sampling at the Elks Lodge. All the food comes from local restaurants, delis, caterers and bakeries.
Organizers recommend participants stop at Williamson Asia first to get their map and begin the tour. At each of the four buildings, the public will be greeted by a tour guide who will speak about the renovations and be available for questions.
Most ticket-buyers choose to take the tour first and then go to the Elks Lodge for the Taste of Mt. Vernon.
Laura Schaubert, vice president of Williamson Asia, said she hopes the public will find the rehabilitated space at Williamson Asia especially interesting.
Typically, the wholesale design firm is only open by invitation and not to the general public. The site includes a large tin ceiling that is lime green in color, Schaubert said.
“It's kind of the first time it's open to the public in that way,” Schaubert said of the site. “It should be fun.”
Mitchell said she would like the Building Tour to make the public more aware of what is happening downtown as far as building restorations and different businesses and activities.
“It's really more about bringing people downtown,” Mitchell said.
This year's event sponsors include: the Elks Lodge, Koerner Distributing, Chaney & Karch Insurance, Ben Mitchell, Hughey Funeral Home, Community First Bank, Edward Jones, Damron Insurance, Peoples National Bank, Parkway Shoe Repair Service, Mark D. Hassakis & Joshua A. Humbrecht PC, and Williamson Asia.
The food vendors for Taste of Mt. Vernon are: Koerner Distributing, Smokin' Ts BBQ, Smokin' Good Times, Lynne Mulch Bakery, 9th Street Grill, the Elks Lodge, Jimmy Johns, 2 Girls Cheesecakes, Silver Streak, and Hitching Post.
Musical entertainment at the Elks Lodge will be provided by the RBR Trio. There will also be a cash bar.
The time frame set aside for the Building Tour is 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., but the overall event lasts until 9 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased up to the day of the event. For more information, contact Mitchell at 242-6866.