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Chamber events draw large crowds
Sierra Ragsdale
Stationed inside the Something to Taco About food truck, Richmond Hill’s Sierra Ragsdale takes an order during the Downtown Street Party in Springfield on Friday evening. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

SPRINGFIELD — Hundreds of local people hungry for good food and a good time sated their appetites for both Friday night.

The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce’s “A Night in Effingham” featured “A Taste of Effingham” and a Downtown Street Party. The simultaneous events filled the streets with tantalizing aromas and the ear-pleasing sounds of Flashback The Party Band.

“It’s good to get together with the community,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Andrew Cripps said.

The annual events were nixed in each of the last two years because of COVID-19 concerns.

“The weather has gotten good and people are less nervous about COVID,” Cripps said. “It’s still around but it’s always going to be around, probably. ... I think people are excited to come out and enjoy themselves.”

 The 11th version of “A Taste of Effingham” gave 220 participants who paid $25 the chance to mix and mingle while sampling the goods of some of the area’s best restaurants. Buttery Ducks Winery was also on hand to share its offerings.

The nearby Downtown Street Party was a free event that also drew a few hundred people. Seven food trucks were ready to sell their goods to hungry dancers and shoppers. Several stores stayed open later than usual and 15 vendors lined the street.

There were also children’s activities available.