One of West Chester’s biggest events is returning this Sunday, September 16th for the 33rd annual time. You may think it’s difficult for the Chester County Restaurant Festival to get better and better after so many years, but West Chester Recreation, who organizes this fabulous occasion, never ceases to amaze the crowd.
Something new this year includes expanded festival grounds featuring Gay Street from Matlack Street to Darlington Street and Market Street from Darlington to High Street. More room means more fun. Plus, the event is free to attend. Parking in all West Chester Borough garages is just $5 for the whole day.
Nearly 110 arts & crafts vendors will be on site as well, starting at noon and running until 5:30 p.m. There will be information booths for your educational pleasure and three stage areas for live music.
Fest goers may taste their way through the area’s best restaurants such as Amani’s BYOB, Limoncello Ristorante, Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, Iron Hill Brewery, The Social Lounge and so many more. Over 50 restaurants are participating this year and they’ll all be in one spot for your simple tasting convenience. Also, a hub like the Church Street Café is a wonderful place for patrons to sit and relax with a refreshing brew.
After tasting through as many bites as your belly can handle, it’s time to pick your favorites. The Town Dish will hold their Choice Awards once again this year and they’re looking to the crowd for an official ruling. Restaurants have entered to win awards in three categories: Best Appetizer, Best Entrée, and Best Dessert. Festival goers must then choose the winners by sending special text message votes using their cell phones. Bring your phones, and make your voice heard! Follow West Chester Dish on Twitter (@wcdish) or Facebook to receive the latest updates!
The Chester County Culinary Challenge is back by popular demand. Four chefs will compete to win the title of the best chef in Chester County. They will cook an appetizer, entrée and dessert and be presented surprise ingredients each round. If they use the surprise item, they’ll be awarded extra points. Chef Jonathan Aman of Amani’s BYOB is returning for his third year as a two-time champ! If he takes the title once again, he’ll become an honorary judge. It won’t be an easy feat for him, going up against big time talent like Andrew Deery of Majolica, Phil Dersch of General Warren Inne and Tim Smith of Twelves Grill & Cafe.
There are plenty of musical acts unfolding at this year’s Chester County Restaurant Festival. Some familiar faces will return and a few new ones might submerge. There are three locations with eight different bands performing throughout the day. The performances will be held on Gay St. at Matlack St. and Darlington St. and at the corner of Market St. and Church St. The full music schedule may be found HERE.
Brand new this year will be The Town Dish’s photo booth. Be sure to swing by with your goofy friends and strike a pose for the camera. Each visitor can take FOUR photos in a row using our life sized silverware props. The photo strips will then print out right on site so you forever have a souvenir to remember the Chester County Restaurant Festival. It’s loads of fun so don’t miss it!
A festival wouldn’t be a festival without some delicious adult beverages to enjoy right on site. The beer and wine garden will be serving again this year, opening it’s doors at noon and welcoming thirsty adults over 21 until 5 p.m. Admission for the garden is just $3 and proceeds will go toward West Chester Parks and Recreation’s Send A Kid To Camp Fund. Music will play and good company will gather so drink up for a great cause!
There is so much to experience on Sunday, September 16th so be sure to get there as soon as the festival starts at noon and stay until the last foodie has left town. When things wrap up at 5:30, don’t be afraid to tuck away into the local town restaurants for drinks and snacks (if you have any room left) with friends and family. See you at the festival!
Chester County Restaurant Festival & Chef Jon photographs credited to Allison Benford, Bonsai Doll Fern Photography.