There was no waiting at the vendor booths late afternoon Sunday at Temple Kol Emeth’s 9th annual Noshfest. But Bogartz Food Artz practically sold out of brisket and corned beef sandwiches and Shish Kabob had brisk sales throughout the first of the two-day event, said Lon Goodman, a former Noshfest chair and coordinator of this year’s food vendors.
He said Bogartz was a first-timer for the Noshfest this year along with a new knish vendor from Raleigh, N.C. – there were three types of knishes to choose from – and others sold such items as Mediterranean fare, baked goods, beer, lemonade and ice cream.
“Attendance was lower than previous years, however the atmosphere was still energetic,” said Noshfest co-chair Sarah Thalheimer. “This was the first year we had all live music. Also, we had more traditional Jewish foods, including chopped liver, smoked whitefish salad, Bagelicious bagels with lox, kugel, hamantaschen, hand-rolled potato knishes from knish-a-licious, rugelach, babka, and much more.”
Six-year-old Nathan Weiss of Decatur fought the heat with a melting raspberry-lime popsicle in one hand while prepared to satisfy his sugar fix with a strawberry and sprinkle-topped donut balanced in the other. Mom Tamara Weiss said her mother was married at Kol Emeth and her brother had his bar mitzvah there. Her husband Lenny said the family was looking for an outing with the children. “What do you do on a long weekend? We saw the Noshfest online.”
For the second year in a row, professional eater Brandon Clark of St. Louis, aka “Da Garbage Disposal,” won the bagel eating contest. He scarfed down 8 ½ bagels in five minutes, besting his record from last year of seven bagels to win the dough again – a $500 prize.
While food was the main attraction, there was Judaica, as well as arts and craft vendors and a kids zone with a petting zoo, inflatables and other activities for children. Face painter Michelle Witte had a line of young customers and 3-year-old Ester Skelton was getting the first NASA astronaut helmet Witte remembers painting. Erica Skelton, holding another child, said the family came from Paulding County for the event at the invitation of her sister, whose husband works at Kol Emeth.
Young Marines served as color guards earlier in the day, passing out water to vendors and helping clean up. In between, they promoted their drug awareness campaign and the national young leadership program for children ages 8 to 18. One member took advantage of a lull in the activity Sunday afternoon to take a nap. A testament to a long day in the sun.
Looking ahead, Thalheimer said “Stay tuned for our 10-year anniversary next year. We are planning big changes!”.