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Zootown Fringe Festival's Taste of the Fringe a big hit

The Zootown Fringe Festival's Taste of the Fringe fundraiser was a big success., graphic design by Ephie Risho

The Second Annual Zootown Fringe Festival held its Taste of the Fringe fundraiser on August 12 at the Top Hat Lounge in downtown Missoula. More than 200 attended the festivities, which included musical performances by Basses Covered, El.I.Be from Cherry Sky Studios, Ticket Sauce, featuring Leif Christian and local jam band favorite Shakewell, as well as ten minute snippets from several of this year's participants.

Thanks to the generosity of local merchants Monte Dolack Gallery, The Green Light, Kettlehouse Brewery, Imagination Station, the dark room, Montgomery Distillery, We Trade Network, City Brew Coffee, Bayern Brewery, The Silk Road, Hide & Sole, The Walking Mustache, Liquid Planet, The Shack Cafe, HuHot Mongolian, Pattee Creek Market, Five on Black, Five Guys Burgers, Noodle Express, Cold Stone Creamery, Holiday Stations, Starving Artists Cafe, Hidden Legend Winery and Ruby’s Cafe, almost $800 was raised at the Silent Auction.

Fringe Creative Director Michelle Risho served as the MC for the evening, as well as coordinating the Taste of the Fringe performances by participants from Canada, California, Washington and Minnesota, as well as the local talent from Missoula.

Among the dramatic performances were Metercraeft (Viscosity Theater), Mystery Mark (Viscosity Theater), Project Gingervitus (Jordan Watkins), Life as an Associate aka F***ing Cashier (Moira Keefe), Prison Boxing (Leah Joki), Lost Montana Monologues (Wendy Woolett) and Why I Died, a Comedy (Katie Rubin).

Fringe musical performances were presented by Diamond Sky, Rale Sidebottom, Chris Sand, Steven and Dave, Mark Kersting and Missincinatti.

Last but not least, Jennifer LaRue explained the art installation Not From Here, a collective of artists from Spokane who are exhibiting their words at the Hive.

The event was fun from start to finish, as Shakewell pulled out all the stops to lay down a perfect jam to propel the Fringe into action. Despite not having their female vocalists, the boys of Shakewell nevertheless kept the crowd on the dance floor with music that demanded action. It was a fitting end to a night of incredible performances.

For more information about the events scheduled for this year's Zootown Fringe Festival, check out their website.

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