Galco's Summer Soda Tasting

The fizzy fundraiser pops open an array of summery beverages.

Summertime is the season of road trips, and one of the coolest parts of hitting the open highway is stopping for snackage in towns found far from home.

And while those snacks and drinks are sometimes known to you, very often you find yourself holding a bottle of something flavored with vanilla-lemon-caramel, and pondering if you should give it a try.

That impulse, to give an unusual soda a try, is at the gleeful heart of Galco's Soda Pop Stop. The all-sodas-plus-candy-plus-more store, which is found on York Boulevard 'round about Highland Park/Eagle Rock, fizzes with hundreds of sodas, some popular, some offbeat, and some likely to induce some serious eyebrow cocking.

And on Sunday, July 31 carbonated pursuits shall reign at the Sixth Annual Galco's Summer Soda Tasting. It's a fundraiser for the Friends of the Southwest Museum, and attendees shall "sample a wide selection of carbonated bubbly beverages," from "fantastic French sodas from Rieme" to sparkling sips from the Republic of Georgia to lively libations from Down Under.

Live tunes, from Celtic-American to Flamenco, give the early evening shindig its melody, while a Burp-Off Competition for children ages 6 to 12 lend the outing its humor.

As for where your all-inclusive $15 ticket will go, fundraising-wise? The coalition supporting the Southwest Museum is working to re-open the historic institution's doors. 

Everything at Galco's is buyable; well, everything on the shelves. But many fans think of it as a museum as well as a store, the kind of fascinating repository where the history of American tastes, and regional flavors from around the globe, take the sippable spotlight.

Browsing the shelves and eyeing the colas, sarsaparillas, and the flowery sodas -- hello, rose-flavored -- is, in itself, a jovial jaunt around the world.

You know the feeling if you've ever taken a road trip and discovered a new soda in a new state. Now multiply that by 500 or so, and you've got Galco's. Be a part of the beloved local store's annual bubble-filled bash.

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