Hancock taste-tests at ‘Ingredients’

Jon Jaehnig/For the Gazette— Musical events performed inside shops and at outdoor venues set up in parking lots between buildings, and in the entry to Superior National Bank.

Key Ingredients took place Friday evening on Mainstreet in Hancock. The annual event highlights local musical talent and restaurants.

“Key Ingredients was started by Stephen Smith. He brought the idea to Hancock,” said Downtown Development Authority Coordinator Deb Mann. “It started with groups of musicians playing at different locations along with different restaurants giving samples of their food.”

Stephen Smith could not be reached for comment.

A number of non-restaurant businesses also took part, including the Flower Shop, which gave away lavender lemonade. A band also played in front of Superior National Bank and a spaghetti dinner was held in the Finnish American Heritage Center. Quincy Green was set up for liver performances and for a later outdoor film screening. Parking lots up and down that are used for employee parking during the day were converted into musical venues.

“The whole idea is to bring people down town to enjoy the sounds and tastes of Hancock,” said Mann.

This year’s event was busier than past events despite the heat because it was timed to coincide with the Canal Run, which brought in more out-of-town visitors than may have otherwise attended. Not all businesses seemed to benefit from the weather.

“I think we’re seeing fewer people than last year,” said Ben Steary, who was giving out coffee at KC Bonkers while owner Clay Hillman played piano. “The people seem to be excited. They’ve been coming in waves.”

Across the street at the Copper Country Community Arts Center, a three-piece band played classical music.

“We’ve been here multiple years. We come for the food,” said Will Shapton, who was travelling with a small group. “We have a plan. We park on one side by LA Cantina. We walk up one side of the street to the end of town and then we walk down the other side. We try to see all of the businesses.”

“The music is really good too,” said Ethan Chopp.

“Because we live here, we see a lot of people that we know,” said May Amelia Shapton.

Event attendees weren’t the only ones having a good time.

“I just love it because there aren’t a lot of opportunities to play piano live for people, especially in the street out in the open air,” said Eric Hopper of Ontonagon. Hopper first became involved in Key Ingredients four years ago after playing in a local business. “I take little breaks to chat with people but other than that I’m just playing the whole time.”

May Amelia Shapton is a delivery person for the Daily Mining Gazette.