Follow Your Nose/The Alchemist’s Wife offers fanciful fragrances and  and supplies to pamper pets.Photo by Heidi Randhava

Unseasonably chilly temperatures did not discourage people from coming out for the inaugural Sauce Walk, Art & Dessert Crawl on May 17 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

“We sold over 200 tickets, far more than we expected,” said Katherine Gotsick, Executive Director of the Main-Dempster Mile. She said they expected to sell about 100-150 tickets to the event, which will be followed by the popular Wine Walk in the fall, on Sept. 13.

About 40 local businesses participated in the lively event, hosted together by the Main-Dempster Mile and their sponsor, First Bank & Trust.

Participants were invited to stroll through pop-up art galleries located inside shops along the Mile. “Our feedback has been very good – 100% of people said they found a new local artist they liked,” said Ms. Gotsick. She added that upwards of 90% of people offering feedback said they had visited a shop they had never been to before.

Proceeds of the event will benefit the business district’s public art initiatives, including the installation of a new mural on Chicago Avenue. The work of six muralists being considered for the new mural site was on display at the Autobarn, where Sauce Walk participants could cast their votes for their favorite mural. The input will be considered during the final selection process.

Business owners said they felt the Sauce Walk was successful  in serving economic development interests, while showcasing local artists and supporting small businesses. “We’re looking forward to the next one!” said Ms. Gotsick.

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.