A round-up of can’t-miss events this month:
- Taste of OCC: A west side celebration with food, drink, art and live music from the J. Miller Band. Enjoy tastings from neighborhood restaurants, vendors and more, all to benefit improvements along Colorado Avenue. $30. Sunday, May 1, 1-4 p.m. Bancroft Park, 2410 W. Colorado Ave.
- Inaugural Food Truck Cook-Off: A competition between 10 local food trucks (find the full list online) vying for the 2016 Best Food Truck Award and People’s Choice Award. While judges confer, sample cuisine for just $5 (tickets jump to $10 at the door). Monday, May 2, 4-5:30 p.m. Norris Penrose Event Center, 1045 Lower Gold Camp Road.
- 14th Annual Peak Herb Fest: An expo of local food and healthy living with over 50 vendors, plus performers, classes, kids’ activities, door prizes and lots of free goodies. $3 (discounts for kids and seniors). Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. AspenPointe Café, El Paso County Citizens Service Center, 1675 W. Garden of the Gods Road.
- Cider Maker’s Taproom Grand Opening: A celebration of Colorado Springs’ first cider-only taproom, with live music, food from local trucks, giveaways and more. Saturday, May 7, noon, Colorado Common Hard Cider, 4566 Town Center Drive, #130.
- ChitChat: BURNT FOOD + CHEMISTRY OF COLOR: As part of the Galleries of Contemporary Art’s dueling lecture series, a talk on burnt food from local chef Brother Luck, of Brother Luck Street Eats and Colorado College chemistry professor Amanda Bowman, who will discuss the chemistry of color. Tickets include snacks and beverages. $10-$15, free for PAC members and UCCS students with ID. Thursday, May 19, 6:30-8 p.m. GOCA 121, 121 S. Tejon St.
- Second Annual Colorado Craft Spirits Festival: A celebration of Colorado distillers, including 3 Hundred Days of Shine, Axe and the Oak Distillery, Distillery 291, and many more (see the whole list online.) Proceeds from the fest benefit Springs area nonprofits. Tickets (which are limited, so move quickly) include spirit tastings as well as gourmet food from regional caterers and restaurants. $20-$50. Saturday, May 21, 6-9 p.m. TheatreWorks Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater, 3955 Regent Circle.
- Whiskeys of the West: A spirit tasting on the grounds of the museum (go online for a list of participants), with live music from Grant Sabin, an interactive living history environment, and a “distiller-infused ice cream parlor” by Denver’s Sweet Action Ice Cream. Proceeds benefit educational programming at El Pueblo. $30. Saturday, May 21, 6-9 p.m. El Pueblo History Museum, 301 N. Union Ave., Pueblo.
- Cakebread Wine Dinner: A five-course paired dinner featuring Cakebread Cellars vino. Courses include foie gras, duck and quail; see the menu here. Call 632-1086 to purchase tickets. $135. Wednesday, May 25, 6:30 p.m. The Blue Star, 1645 S. Tejon St.
- 2016 Culinary Passport: A fundraiser from the American Culinary Federation Pikes Peak Chapter featuring cuisine from around the world prepared by 12 chefs and three pastry chefs, along with wine and a silent auction. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Colorado Springs Food Rescue. $45. Saturday, May 14, 6-9 p.m. St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 9 El Pomar Road.