5th Annual A Taste Of Warroad


Left: Dennis and Shannon Thibodeau, right: Sal Thipphavong and wife Becca Gloe, Rachel and Josh Pearce.

by Laurel Latham

Twenty-five vendors brought their samples to tantalize the taste buds of around 250 attendees at the 5th Annual A Taste Of Warroad held at the Garden Arena on Friday, May 12th from 5:30-8 p.m. Two hundred plus attended Comedian Mark Poolos' hilarious 21+ Comedy Hour which followed at 8:30 p.m. Mark's comedic performance was so well received, with the crowd having such a good time, the Comedy Hour ran for 75 minutes. A full belly and belly laughs made for a fun night for all who attended.

Lake of the Woods Coffee Company brought samples of their coffee, cold brew, mini-cookies and delicious chicken salad sandwiches on mini-ciabatta buns. Caribou Coffee served hot coffee, iced cold press coffee, and added flavor shots and cream for extra spice. The Hawk Tavern did not disappoint with their polenta, beef short ribs and chimichangas. Kam's Creations provided samples of her mouth-watering signature chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting, mini golden wheat buns, and palmiers. Palmiers are a French cookie made with puff pastry dough and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. The Summit 49 Lounge at the Hampton Inn had samples of a variety of their popular pizzas, Springsteel Lodge whipped up a batch of their tasty chili, and Marvin Home Center provided smoked cream cheese and crackers. The bakery at Doug's Supermarket served generous samples of cake, with Doug's Deli serving a variety of samples from their deli including barbecue brisket chicken alfredo and two kinds of meatballs. Lake of the Woods Brewing Company brought their famous root beer, and both Pine Ridge Liquor and Warroad Municipal Liquor provided non-alcoholic beverages. Annie's Trading Post had a variety of samples from their specialty food department and Warroad Historical Society flipped blueberry pancakes.

Other vendors included Warroad American Legion, Warroad Community Development, Warroad Summer Theatre, Warroad Wellness/LifeCare Rehab, Warroad Area Women of Today, Marvin, Star of the North Toastmasters, Discovery & Development Hub, Hockey Day MN 2024, Bake of the Woods and Warroad Community Partners. The Warroad High School Culinary Class were featured as Special Guests. Taste Of Warroad event was sponsored by Warroad Community Partners.

Comedian Mark Poolos

Mark Poolos, originally from Edina, began his career as a cameraman with Channel 5 News.

"When I was working as a cameraman, I was told I had a good voice over voice," explained Mark Poolos. "I started doing voice overs, which led me into auditioning for acting jobs. Everyone kept telling me I should be a comedian, which I thought that's weird, since I wanted to go into acting. Then my mom sent me an article about a local comic who was holding classes to teach others how to become comedians. I attended the classes in Maplewood, taught by Scott Novotny, and started touring. Scott and I have stayed in touch through the years. He calls me his greatest success story," chuckled Mark.

Mark has met many famous comedians while touring.

"I was booked to do a show in the UP in Michigan at a bar," reports Mark. "Turns out George Carlin was doing a show at a theater there. Eleven people came to my show that night, 2,000 went to see George Carlin. The bar had booked me before George was booked. I met George at the Kewadin casino that weekend. George Carlin is one of my favorite comedians. "

Mark has also met Brian "Q" Quinn, James 'Murr" Murray, Joe Gatto, and Sal Vulcano of Impractical Jokers and Michael Carbonaro of the Carbonaro Effect.

"Joe Gatto has gone out on his own now, but the other three guys still perform together as the Impractical Jokers," said Mark. "My favorite comedians are Brian Regan and Nate Bargatze."

Mark met his wife, Anita (Streiff) while working at the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Columbus, Ohio.

"Anita was in Columbus on a work trip and attended my show. We talked after the show and found out we lived ten minutes from each other in Minneapolis. We exchanged numbers and I promised to call her when I got back to Minneapolis so we could get together. Then I got a call from her saying, thanks for getting together with me!, cause I hadn't called her yet! We went on a date that night and have been together ever since! My wife is an amazing woman. She is studying for her doctorate, but I told her I'm not going to call her doctor," joked Mark.

When Mark and Anita applied for their marriage license, they decided to legally change Mark's last name of Poolos back to his original family name of Kalogeropoulos.

"Anita was interested in the history of my last name, which had actually been shortened from Kalogeropoulos when my family moved to the U.S. My dad was born in Indiana, but was 100% Greek. My grandma was from Sparta and my grandpa was from the Kelavratis Mountains. I've never been to Greece, but I still have lots of relatives there. In Greece, Kalogeropoulos is like Smith here. Anita asked my dad if he would be ok with the name change. My dad was sick at the time with heart disease and complications from diabetes. He was so happy we were changing Poolos back to Kalogeropoulos, he cried. My dad passed at 52."

Mark no longer does twenty shows a month like he once did.

"I average about two shows a month now," said Mark. "I'm also a realtor with eXp Realty. My original plan was to sell real estate in the summer and do comedy in the winter, but so many are buying homes that I work year round as a realtor. The market has really picked up at the end of last year and this year."

"I always enjoy coming to the Warroad area to do comedy shows," added Mark. "I've been here so many times, I've lost count. I know my first show was at Springsteel Lodge. I've done Warroad After Prom twice and Roseau After Prom once. I've had shows at the VFW and did comedy shows for corporate businesses. I performed in Warroad at October Festival in 2019."

Those who have been to one of Mark Poolos Comedy Shows are looking forward to the next one!


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