It is one of the area’s most anticipated annual festivals, but the Taste of Montgomery County also fulfills a very important role: the Taste is the largest fundraiser for the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum, located on the grounds in Crawfordsville where Lew Wallace penned his masterwork, Ben-Hur. The 14th annual Taste of Montgomery County will be held from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday.
This year’s Taste features three live musical acts. Highland Reign (1 p.m.) plays Irish, American, and British ballads and sea shanties. War Radio (4:30 p.m.) performs a mix of indie rock, soul, and melody covers and original songs. Strawbury Jam headlines at 8 p.m. with modern country rock.
The site of the Taste, the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum at 200 Wallace Avenue, was once General Wallace’s backyard, lying just north of his home on Wabash Avenue. Many people attending the Taste don’t realize that the area near the General’s bronze statue, where hundreds of Taste-goers will congregate this weekend to hear the great live music beneath the shade, was once the site where General Wallace set up his rocking chair under the spread of a giant beech tree, to work on his writing in peace and solitude. Wallace wrote a significant portion of Ben-Hur under this tree, known as the Ben-Hur Beech Tree.
The General’s Study building is one of the gems of Crawfordsville and has seen visitors from around the globe for more than 100 years. The Study is filled with the General’s original artifacts and personal memorabilia, most of which have been in the Museum’s collection since Wallace’s death in 1905.
All revenues from admission ticket sales at this year’s Taste will fund the Museum’s extensive programming and annual exhibit. This year the museum’s annual exhibit focuses on Lew’s creativity. Museum programming in 2021 includes the Hoosier Authors Book Club, the Dr. Howard Miller Lecture Series, a Behind the Scenes Tour, and the Hoosier Author Fair.
Tickets for the Taste can be purchased at the gate for $7 for adults and $3 for students. Children 6 and under are free.