Aug. 30--NORMAN -- The annual Taste of Norman returns as the "in" place to dine Thursday before Norman High and Norman North face each other in the opening game of each high school's football season.
The fundraiser, organized by the band booster clubs, will feature a tasty lineup of Norman restaurants and promises to be the best meal in town before the Crosstown Clash.
Thirty local restaurants will offer samples of their food at the University of Oklahoma's Mosier Indoor Practice Facility, adjacent to Gaylord Family -- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where the football game will be played.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and close just before kickoff at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 per person, with diners age 5 and under eating free.
Tickets can be purchased from band students, from the main offices of the two high schools and from the three Republic Bank branches.
Tickets for the football game and Taste of Norman also will be available at the Norman Public Schools building at 131 S Flood on Tuesday through Thursday, and at the door on game day.
The Crosstown Clash always promises a hard-fought battle on the gridiron, but the Taste of Norman will offer a more congenial experience.
This year's event comes on the heels of a gracious act of cooperation by Norman North and Norman High band students. When one of the NHS buses caught fire on the way to the state marching band contest last fall, band members lost uniforms and instruments. According to the band director, the band gamely voted to march in the gym shorts and T-shirts they wear under their uniforms and without several dozen instruments.
As they lined up to enter the field, however, Norman North High School students, who already had competed, offered their instruments to Norman High School students who had lost theirs. Both bands ended up with superior ratings from the judges and a newfound appreciation for their rivals.
Republic Bank and Trust Co. is the Taste of Norman sponsor, along with Norman Public Schools. The event also is supported by Norman Music Center and Mercedes Benz of Oklahoma City.
Participating restaurants will be Legend's, The Mont, Rib Crib, El Chico, Sooner Legends, Hideaway Pizza, Custard Factory, Local, McNellie's, Cane's, Ray's Smokehouse BBQ, Sodexo, The Melting Pot, Pickleman's, Panda Express and Zoes Kitchen.
The high school bands will play during the event.
"Taste of Norman provides more funds for the band programs than any source other than the Norman school district," said Jim Miller, Norman High School's band director.
"Our students' experience is enriched by the opportunities that are possible as a result of this event. And it's a lot of fun."
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