Thursday's Taste of Western event marks 12th year 

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The 12th Annual Taste of Western brings a taste of the unexpected to the city’s oldest official district.

Western Avenue District, which spans the city from the funky (its southern edge bumps up against The Paseo Arts District) to the ritzy (Nichols Hills and Classen Curve) has but one fundraiser a year — Taste of Western.

This year’s event, 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Nichols Hills Plaza, 6409 Avondale Drive, celebrates the city’s oldest official district. The Western Avenue Association was formed in 2001.

Adrian Young, the executive director of association since January, wants to make it about the big picture — literally. Before the end of the year, Western Avenue will have nine murals on the sides of participating businesses, with plans for more.

“It is still a culinary event, there are 15 restaurants participating. All the restaurants will be serving small plates or amuse [bouche] but we wanted to shift the focus to something bigger for the district as a whole,” Young said.

She couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the district’s artistic side with a project you can’t help but notice.

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This year, rather than only emphasize the many dining options on Western, Young had the inspiration to turn the district into an art gallery. Working with Jacob Smith, local artist and owner of Weldon Jack, the two recruited several local artists to create murals on the sides of Western Avenue businesses. The district will be one big gallery space.

“The response has been overwhelmingly positive — not a single business owner even hesitated, they all said ‘yes,’” she said.

Bob Moore Auto Group will chauffeur guests around town in a fleet of Porsches and Audis to view all the murals.

There is an award for the best mural: Website voting runs Oct. 20-23. The winning artist receives a $3,000 cash prize.

The winner will be announced by local artist Desmond Mason at the end of the night.

Restaurants participating include Iron Starr Urban BBQ, Whole Foods Market and All About Cha Stylish Tea & Coffee.

Adult beverages are provided by local merchants Glazer’s of Oklahoma, Republic Wine, Dynamic Brands and Thirst Wine. Tickets are $50 in advance, and guests are encouraged to purchase ahead of time.

“Make sure you get your tickets in advance, because this event will sell out and you’re not going to want to miss it,” Young said.

For information about the artists, the association and the event, visit

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