Burgers, sushi, chocolate and even tea featured on Food Stroll
Waynesboro, Pa., is blessed with “really wide sidewalks,” Bill Kohler said.
As director of economic development for Mainstreet Waynesboro, Kohler decided to capitalize on that feature.
“I thought, you know, wouldn’t it be cool to take advantage of that more,” he said.
Kohler considered events he had seen elsewhere, such as Taste of the Town gatherings, where people strolled the streets sampling cuisine of area eateries.
“It just seemed like it would be a ‘win-win’ on so many levels, to get people downtown, get them walking, exploring the restaurants, and to raise some money for Mainstreet (Waynesboro),” he said.
That idea will come to fruition Friday, Sept. 27, at Mainstreet Waynesboro’s Downtown Food Stroll. Purchase of a “passport” for $25 will give participants access to samples from 12 restaurants and shops including Sapporo, Christine’s Cafe, Zoe’s Chocolate Co., The Candy Kitchen, The Waynesburger, Brio Coffeehouse, Gus and Ted’s Tavern and more. Several restaurants that are not located downtown will set up service areas outside. Passports can be purchased in advance or at the event. Children ages 11 and younger will get a free hot dog when accompanied by an adult with a Food Stroll passport. Event T-shirts are available for $12 in advance and $15 at the gate.
“People will come to Main Street Park, get their passports, and start strolling,” Kohler said. “They can stop at different places, then keep strolling. Then they will end up back at Main Street Park.”
Passports that are stamped at each site will gain entry into a drawing for giveaways of gift cards for participating stores and restaurants.
Following the stroll, from 7 to 9 p.m., Bobby D and the Food Truck Burritos will provide live honky-tonk music at the park. Beer will be sold by Roy Pitz Brewing Co. from 6 to 9 p.m.
Kohler described Bobby D as having “a voice like Merle Haggard with a little bit of Dwight Yoakam.”
The Food Stroll, which is sponsored by Mainstreet Waynesboro and Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Waynesboro office, has received a lot of positive feedback on social media and in town, Kohler said.
“We’ve had a good reaction from people in the community, and the businesses are happy to get people in the door,” he said. “It’s about exposure for them and it helps contribute to Mainstreet.”
Each of the participating businesses will provide a free sampling of their specialties. Anticipated samples include sliders from The Waynesburger, lasagna from Toledo’s Pizza, pizza from Arturo’s Pizzeria and Restaurant, sandwiches or scones from TranquilaTEA, baked goods from Brio Coffeehouse, ice cream from Annie’s Country Creamery and tamales by Creations with Love.
“We will have a sample ready for you. You can hang out and eat it, look at the menu. Or people can take their sample and keep on strolling,” Kohler said.
Proceeds from the stroll will benefit the revitalization efforts of Mainstreet Waynesboro.
“Mainstreet Waynesboro has been around for more than 20 years,” Kohler said. “We are working to make downtown better through increased foot traffic, through new stores and businesses that get people excited about coming downtown again.”
The group promotes “out of the box” solutions and ideas and counts Food Truck Fridays, Waynesboro Market at the Park’s Get Grillin’ Day, and the Waynesboro Market at the Park itself among its successes.
“The farmers market has had 25 to 30 vendors every Saturday and brings out 600 people on average between 8:30 (a.m.) and noon,” Kohler said.
The market will soon be wrapping up its second season.
“We are about giving people experiences,” Kohler said. “We gotta give them something they can’t buy on Amazon or at Walmart. Mainstreet is really striving to do that.”
If you go...
What: Mainstreet Waynesboro's Downtown Food Stroll
When: Friday, Sept. 27, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Where: Main Street Park, 25 E. Main St., Waynesboro, Pa.
Cost: Passports cost $25 and include samples from 12 eateries.
Contact: Event information on Facebook at Downtown Food Stroll. Tickets available online at eventbrite.com and at mainstreetwaynesboro.org