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Taking it to the Streets! Downtown welcomes Taste of Arlington

Theatre Arlington, the original Downtown Arlington cultural institution, is bringing one of its longest-standing traditions home and we couldn’t be more excited! After thirty-three years, Taste of Arlington is coming to Downtown.

From showcase to tradition

In 1982, while brainstorming ways to raise funds in support of youth programs, the boards of directors of both Theatre Arlington and the YMCA of Arlington joined together to present the first iteration of “Taste,” which was called “Showcase Arlington.” After years of a successful partnership, Theatre Arlington became the sole event host. Today’s Taste of Arlington attracts between 2,500-4,000 people annually.

Kim Lawson, director of marketing and development for Theatre Arlington, explains the idea behind this year’s move from the Entertainment District to Downtown Arlington. “Our board of directors envisioned this new direction that will still highlight Arlington’s great eateries and raise much-needed dollars, plus attract an even broader audience.

“With the excitement of Downtown Arlington’s new State of Texas Cultural District designation,” she continued, “it’s a great opportunity to show off the area that all of us in Downtown have worked so hard to build. It’s a party in our own backyard!”

A treat for the senses

As you sample the wide variety of “tastes” by chefs from around the city, your other senses can also get into the act. Music and entertainment will fill the air alongside the delicious aroma. Be sure to enter the raffles for goodies and gift certificates. Taste is also hosting a first-ever Fork-Pull, which Kim refuses to describe but promises it’ll be a blast.

For the kids

Proceeds from Taste of Arlington benefit Theatre Arlington youth programs, which include year-round acting classes, spring break camp, five summer camps, touring companies, plus private acting, dance, voice and piano lessons. The opportunities don’t just help students grow as artists but as well-rounded and confident young people.

But that’s not all. “Theatre Arlington staff, educators and board of directors,” Kim said, “believe strongly in narrowing the gap between what is necessary in arts education programs and what is available to all youth in the area.”

For the past 20 years and in partnership with AISD, Theatre Arlington has hosted Camp Be A Star, a summer camp for homeless children and those living in transitional housing. This summer, sixty kids participated in the camp, where they got to sing, act, be silly, make friends and shine in the spotlight.

Also in a long-standing partnership with AISD, Theatre Arlington’s ACT UPS (Applied Creative Thinking Using Performance Skills) has targeted culturally diverse, at-risk 4th graders in four Title 1 schools and brings the performing arts to them. ACT UPS helps break through each participant’s emotional armor and encourages students to undertake the risk that both performing and life can bring.

Get involved

There are so many ways to participate in Taste of Arlington!

Sponsorships: You or your organization can join Downtown Arlington as a sponsor of the event. Sponsorships begin at $500.

Vendor opportunities: There are a few vendor opportunities left, but you better hurry. Booth fees are $250 and Theatre Arlington will supply the tables, chairs and canopy tent.

Call Kim at 817-261-8628 or email her at to learn more about being a vendor or sponsor.

VIP Tickets: We think this year’s VIP Ticket is the pièces de ré·sis·tance! Benefits include guaranteed covered seating in a VIP tent, $20 in food/beverage coupons, access to air-conditioned restrooms, a fun swag bag and designated VIP parking.

General Admission: Save on the price of admission tickets by purchasing them online rather than at the door. Once you arrive at the event, you’ll be able to purchase $1 food/beverage coupons at the event. Most “tastes” will be from $1-$5. Free parking is available throughout Downtown.

VIP and General Admission tickets are available now here!

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About Downtown Arlington

An official State of Texas Cultural District, Downtown Arlington, Texas blends a unique mix of activities, sights, tastes and sounds that attract visitors and locals alike. Within its less than a two-mile radius, Downtown is home to a top tier public research university, prolific fine and performing artists and arts institutions, live entertainment, exciting NCAA and professional athletics, one-of-a-kind dining and retail, and a supportive business climate. Downtown Arlington brings together a plethora of cultures and inspirations with a character all its own.