What and When:
On Saturday, June 18, 2022, WNIN closed down Main Street for the city’s first annual Taste of Evansville event, a free-admission food festival showcasing the diversity of Evansville’s unique culinary landscape. The family-friendly event featured free samples from food booths hosted by some of our community’s most celebrated local restaurants, as well as live music, food trucks with meals available for purchase, and a cash bar.
The goal of the event was to celebrate our city’s multiculturalism through the lens of food and to use food as a means of discussion about how our unique differences as individuals make us stronger together as a community.
WNIN’s TV production team interviewed attendees at the event, asking them to share why they feel it’s important to celebrate our community’s cultural diversity, both through the event and in our daily lives. WNIN used the footage from these interviews to produce (2) one-minute television spots and (2) radio spots that were broadcast on WNIN’s TV and radio stations and published on social media to help extend the important message about diversity, equity, and inclusion to a broader audience.
For the launch of this event, WNIN partnered with fifteen locally-owned restaurants representing a variety of multicultural cuisines including Peruvian, El Salvadoran, Mediterranean, Greek, German, Korean, and more. Through grant funding, we subsidized each restaurant with $500 to help cover a portion of their food and staff costs for the event. We also asked our restaurant partners to promote the event to their customers and social media followers in order to help WNIN reach new audiences through the initiative. WNIN invited food trucks to sell full-sized meals at the event, and a traveling bar to sell summer-themed cocktails. Next, WNIN hired three performing groups to play live music on stage at the end of Main Street. WNIN staff also secured a large donation of bottled water which we provided to all attendees for free.
WNIN chose to launch this event because the community it serves is actively demonstrating a desire for more initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion—and consumer demand for multicultural restaurants. Evansville has a reputation for its “foodie” culture and has seen a boom in the diversity of its culinary landscape in recent years, something that WNIN staff felt should be celebrated and used as a means of discussion about how food brings our community together.