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Junior Ben Weeks, Senior James Friedl, and Senior Michelle Bara eat chili during Taste of Manning. Madeleine Fry | Col­legian

Take a walk down N. Manning Street.

Start at Central Hall, pass the parking lots, stop to listen to The Wineboxes per­forming by College Baptist. Cross the street, gather at the beer tent for a cup of Coors. Then slalom from house to house: taste the mac ‘n’ cheese, grab a waffle, and don’t forget the chili.

At Taste of Manning, the first Student Activ­ities Board event of its kind, hun­dreds of stu­dents wan­dered up and down North Manning Street on Sat­urday afternoon, snacking on dishes pre­pared by their peers.

At the end of the street, a gaggle of friends steps up to The Stables, where seniors Ralston Tucker, Grace Van­de­griff, and Michelle Bara hover by a crockpot of Kevin’s Famous Chili.

Unlike the actual Kevin, the char­acter from “The Office” who spilled his famous chili all over the carpet, stu­dents who wander into The Stables have a good chance of getting a bite. To reassure them, there’s a meme on the back wall with Kevin’s smug face behind the announcement: “I FINALLY DIDN’T SPILL MY FAMOUS CHILI.” And by the house­mates, string lights frame a black­board with a message in red chalk: “Chili: It’s probably the thing we do best.”

Coming inside to escape the 40-degree cold, stu­dents sample bowls of chili with squares of corn­bread. The house­mates said over the course of the two-hour event, the chili ran out, and they had to make more.

“It was really fun to make every­thing,” Tucker says, as the newest vis­itors reach for the ladle.

Director of Student Activ­ities Ashlyn Landherr, heading up the street, says she’s happy with student turnout despite the chilly weather. About 150 stu­dents signed up to attend, but she guesses some 200 – 300 actually showed up.

After stu­dents came up with the idea for the event in an SAB brain­storming session, it became Taste of Manning, named after the world’s largest food fes­tival, Taste of Chicago. The next step was blocking off the street itself.

“Getting the street cleared was huge,” Landherr says, “but it made this event pos­sible.”

Stu­dents in 10 off-campus houses shared their culinary skills, serving snacks from sweet to savory: banana bread, meat­balls, brownies, tacos, BBQ, pro­sciutto.

The Fratican, at the end of the street, got the most stu­dents votes for taste, thanks to its steak slices with garlic aioli. The Stables snagged the award for best vibe.

Standing by a group of guys playing cornhole, Asso­ciate Dean of Men Chief Rogers says he came out to support an event that was all in good fun.

“It’s wholesome and good,” Rogers says. “And it’s around friendship.”

When the bustle has sub­sided and even the beer tent has cleared, seniors Gina Haw­ersaat and Stacey Egger lan­guish on their couch after dishing out almost every portion of mac ‘n’ cheese in Graceland. Haw­ersaat says they started cooking three hours before the event.

“We probably had 12 pounds of cheese,” Egger says.

Both agree that they enjoyed meeting stu­dents from every corner of campus, and Haw­ersaat adds that she hope that this isn’t the only taste of Manning Hillsdale stu­dents will get.

“I think they should do it every year,” she says. “Manning is such a hub of student life right now.”

She only has one sug­gestion.

“Do you think SAB would clean our house for us?” she asks. “Just the kitchen. There’s cheese on every­thing.”