Back before an old pumping station for fire trucks on Columbus Boulevard was turned into a venue for FringeArts, the performing arts organization held Feastival, its annual fundraising food fest, on Cherry Street Pier. It poured, and guests nibbling samples from the city’s buzziest restaurants stepped around leaks in the partially open-air venue. The pier has since been revitalized into a sprawling space for markets, artist studios, and food vendors, and Feastival, now in its 10th year, has become one of the biggest, most elaborate food festivals in Philly — so it feels like a fit that Feastival is heading back to Cherry Street Pier for this year’s party. It’s on for Thursday, September 26, a few days after the close of FringeArts’ 17-day, city-wide Fringe Festival. Tickets start at $300.
Feastival founder Audrey Claire Taichman (she owned Audrey Claire and Twenty Manning) is hosting, with Stephen Starr, Mike Solomonov, and Nick Elmi. Audi is again the event sponsor, so look for a fancy car nestled between rows of tables covered in food from around 70 of Philly’s most-talked-about restaurants and bars.
The co-hosts’ restaurants, like Laurel and Parc, will be represented, of course, along with every other restaurant you love or have been wanting to try — Vetri Cucina, Poi Dog, Sate Kampar, Kensington Quarters, Bing Bing Dim Sum, Spice Finch, Vedge, Vernick Food & Drink, and on and on. New participants this year include Aether, the seafood spot in Fishtown, Musi, the farm-to-table BYOB in Pennsport, and Chris Kearse’s upcoming Forsythia in Old City.
The food is the main reason to spend $300 (or $450 for VIP), but it’s only part of the event. Expect endless drinks, live music, and acrobatic performances from Philly’s Circadium and Montreal’s 7 Fingers Circus Company.
If you buy tickets before July 15, code FEAST19 will get you 20 percent off.