The team from OMO Japanese Soul Food serves up a sample at Taste of SoMo 2019. The event returns to downtown Springfield June 25. (Photo: Downtown Springfield Association)

After a temporary — and very rainy — appearance in October 2021, Taste of SoMo returns to its traditional June date for 2022. This year’s event is June 25.

Taste of SoMo, held at Park Central Square, is an outdoor food sampling event that showcases restaurants from throughout southwest Missouri. The day includes live music, visual arts and more. This family-friendly event includes a patio and yard game area as well as a kids area.

“After a bit of a washout last fall, Taste of SoMo is back in June and ready for the sunshine,” said Rusty Worley, executive director of the Downtown Springfield Association. “Springfield is excited to get back out and about, and we’re throwing a feast to celebrate.”

Food sampling takes place from noon-4 p.m., with live music and beer sales continuing inside Park Central Square until 5 p.m. Admission is free and samples are purchased with tasting tickets. One sheet of 10 tickets sells for $10. Guests will be able to vote for their favorites in categories like Best of Festival, Best Entrée, Best Dessert and more.

Taste of SoMo is once again partnering with Ozarks Food Harvest. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to OFH, which can provide four meals from each dollar donated. Ozarks Food Harvest serves 270 hunger-relief organizations across 28 counties in southwest Missouri, reaching nearly 30,000 individuals each week.

“Taste of SoMo not only brings the community downtown for a great meal, but also to support food issues for the entirety of southwest Missouri,” Worley said. “By coming to Taste of SoMo you have the opportunity to check out small businesses and restaurants, help feed those that are food insecure through Ozarks Food Harvest, and learn about some food sustainability options offered right here in our own community. I can’t think of a better way to have a delicious meal that you can feel good about all around.”

Restaurant applications are now available. Applications received before 5 p.m. May 31 will receive a special early-bird discount. All restaurant applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. June 15.

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger