“A Taste of Keene” Food Festival

June 5th, 2021  –  12pm to 5pm

Central Square  -  Keene, NH

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Why are we hosting this event?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, few industries were hit as hard as restaurants. The combination of people not going out, not being comfortable indoors (especially in New England where outdoor dining is not year-round), and eating being a higher-risk, mask-down activity have conspired to hit our restaurants particularly hard. The various grants and loans have been helpful for those who got them, but since most of restaurant's expenses are not related to payroll, huge expenses like rent and utilities were not covered by these programs. What we really need is people coming out and feeling safe visiting these restaurants again.


The timing will never be perfect, as different people will take different amounts of time to adapt back from the "new normal" that has developed. What we can do is provide an outdoor opportunity for the participating restaurants to showcase their dishes and make some money, abide by all local, state and CDC guidelines, and schedule it when more people will either be vaccinated, or feel comfortable attending. We hope to see you there!

How does this event work?

Attendees will go to one of three token stations (located at event entrances on Court St, Washington St, and Main St near the flagpole) and purchase blue tokens that can be exchanged for food at any of the restaurant booths.

Tokens can be purchased using either cash or card.

No cash will be accepted by any of the restaurants - only tokens.

Each restaurant will offer bites ranging in price from 1-3 tokens.

Restaurants will be given a portion of the event proceeds based on how many tokens they collect.

If you do not use all your tokens, they can be donated back, and 100% of the token cost will go to the restaurants.

The Biergarten works the same way, but with tickets instead of tokens (available for purchase at the table on Roxbury St), and the breweries' pool of money is separate from the restaurants'. 

Attendees of the Biergarten must be 21+, and you will be ID-ed at the entrance.

Attendees may come and go from the event as much as they please - There is no entry fee. All alcohol must remain in the Biergarten area, but food can be consumed anywhere.

Downtown merchants will be out on the sidewalks, and Keene's Art Walk will be kicking off with events the same day, so wander up and down Main St between bites and see what's out there!

Who is organizing this event?

This event originated from the City of Keene's Reopening Committee, where the Keene Young Professionals Network offered to plan and host a downtown food festival, with support from the City of Keene's Fire, Police, and Public Works departments, and countless volunteers. 

Who benefits from this event?

Participating restaurants and breweries will receive all net proceeds of the event


If you're a math person, the payout for each restaurant looks like this:

(For breweries, the same formula applies, but with tickets instead of tokens.)

(Event income - Event expenses) x Each restaurant's # tokens collected + # of Leftover/Donated tokens

                                                                 Total # tokens collected                               # of Restaurants