Tuesday, May 29, 2001
'Taste' finale unclouded
Final day free of rain, confrontation
By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The Taste of Cincinnati ended Monday with its best day yet lots of sunshine and big demand for buttery corn and potato pancakes, and no flare-ups between protesters and grazers.
Karie Kenwright of Fort Mitchell serves beer Sunday.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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Monday brought no rain, letting the food festival end its run this year under clear skies.
Organizers said it was impossible to accurately estimate crowd size, but they called the event a clear success based upon the steady stream of people on the festival's third day, vendors' reports of best-selling foods and a lack of confrontation between people who came to eat and the protesters urging them to go home instead.
This Taste fulfilled the mission organizers aimed for when they started the event 22 years ago, spokesman Ray Buzz Buse said that was to bring people downtown to show them it can be safe and fun.
It's fitting that people come together over food, he said. This is a much-needed event for this city.
People were mostly polite as the group of about 100 protesters walked through the crowd handing out fliers explaining their concerns. They want: $50 million for the new race relations panel Cincinnati CAN; a federal court order to outlaw racial profiling here; a change in how the city selects its police chief; and more power for the Citizens Police Review Panel.
There was a tense opening to Taste of Cincinnati Saturday when about 200 protesters heckled soul singer James Brown. (Sunday story)
The protesters say their concerns date back years. But they were galvanized by the April 7 fatal shooting of Timothy Thomas, 19, an unarmed black man. He was shot by white Officer Stephen Roach, a four-year Cincinnati Police Division veter an now under indictment in the death.
The police division made a conscious decision to keep a relatively low profile amid the 38 food booths along Central Parkway. Officers working the detail were encouraged to be courteous, shake people's hands and thank people for being here, said Capt. Greg Snider, District 1 commander.
Police reported no arrests related to the event.
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