Inaugural Taste of Helena set for March 14

Published 2:24 pm Wednesday, February 7, 2024

By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer

HELENA – The city of Helena has announced that its inaugural Taste of Helena food festival will take place on Thursday, March 14. The event, which will feature food from local establishments and highlight the city’s food scene, will take place at the Helena Sports Complex from 6-8 p.m.

The event, which has been organized by the Taste of Helena Committee, seeks to showcase the wide variety of food offerings available in the city and will also benefit and support students in Helena.

“The event is not only an opportunity to indulge in exquisite flavors but also a chance to support a worthy cause,” Helena Mayor Brian Puckett said. “All proceeds from this event will go toward benefiting the Future Business Leaders of America program at Helena High School. By participating in this event, you will not only enjoy a delightful evening but also contribute to the growth and development of our next generation of business leaders.

Currently, 16 local businesses and establishments have signed up to take part in the event and will all highlight their unique offerings for attendants at the event.

“The event will showcase a variety of Helena tastes like award-winning Chef James Washington of the restaurant Refined To Go who has been the Sous Chef of Bottega, as well as at the Inn at Little Washington in Alexandria, Virginia,” said Hewy Woodman, Helena city councilmember and an organizer for the event. “He has cooked alongside the greats such as Wolfgang Puck, Chris Hastings, and Dean Fearing. (We will also have) everything from poke bowls provided by ThirsTea Cafe to Renea Spear’s Brown Sugar.”

The list of local businesses that are confirmed to be participating include:

  •  Hey Bebe food truck
  •  The Fro Co
  •  Kona Ice
  •  Next Journey Bake Shop
  •  Wild West Dog Shack
  •  Brown Sugar Desserts by Renea
  •  Zaxby’s
  •  Oversoul Brewing
  •  Refined To Go
  •  ThirsTea Cafe
  •  Mere’s Bakes
  •  Marco’s Pizza
  •  El Tejano
  •  All Original Pizzeria
  •  The Steakhouse of Helena
  •  Home Plate Cooking

Tickets for the event went live on Feb. 1 and will remain available until sold out. Tickets are currently still available at an early bird rate of $20 per person but those interested are encouraged to purchase tickets sooner rather than later. Due to the anticipated smaller size of the event’s inaugural outing, ticket amounts are limited. Should tickets still be available past the March cut-off date for registration, they will remain available until sold-out at a rate of $35.

“We want people to buy early,” Woodman said.

Live music will be featured at the festival with the Helena High School Jazz Band and Jim Quakenbush’s one man swing band serving as the entertainment for the flavorful evening. The event will also feature a judged decision for “Best Bite” at the event with an award being handed to the decided victor that provides the best food offering.

Those seeking tickets can secure them by registering at Following registration, ticket payments will be processed via Venmo through the event’s official account at

Those who would like to know more about the event or who have questions related to the inaugural Taste of Helena, are encouraged to contact event organizers via email at