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2017-10-04 / Taste

Midlothian Food Festival expands offerings

BY RICH GRISET STAFF WRITER

The Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival, in its 29th year, has changed days to Saturday and expanded its offerings.  The Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival, in its 29th year, has changed days to Saturday and expanded its offerings. If you’ve attended the Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival in the past, its creators have a message for you: This ain’t your parents’ food fest.

Gone is the all-you-can-eat-and-drink affair with a lone caterer providing the food. Now, in its 29th year, the charity event at Westchester Commons will feature multiple music acts, craft beer, cocktails and small sampling plates from more than 15 restaurants.

“Over the course of 30 years, people’s tastes change. So having the same food options for 28 years, our patrons told us that they’d like to see more stuff,” says Dave Saunders, president of the Midlothian Rotary Club, one of the five local rotary clubs staging the event. “RVA is a foodie town, and the Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival is all about celebrating that and creating a fun and memorable event for everyone. And at the end of the day, the money that you spend there will go to charity.”

Previously a Wednesday event, this year the festival takes place Saturday, Oct. 7. It will feature food from Tazza Kitchen, Fat Dragon, Ginger Thai Taste, Sedona Taphouse, Maple and Pine, Toast, Latitude Seafood and others. Craft beer options include brews from South Street Brewery, Buskey Cider, Stone Brewing, Blue Mountain Brewery and Ballast Point Brewing Company.

For the price of admission – $25 in advance and $35 at the gate – patrons will receive five tickets that can go toward food, beer or cocktails. Additional tickets can be purchased for $5 each. The proceeds will benefit dozens of charities. Last year’s event raised $98,000, and the clubs are hoping to raise more this year. All told, the food festival has brought in $1.7 million over its lifetime.

While previous festivals featured a single band, this year the festival will have nine music acts, including the Richmond Symphony. Fans of past years’ band En’Novation need not worry; they’ll be there, too.

“That is one thing we definitely had to keep, because that is a party band,” Saunders says. “They are high octane, high energy, and they get everybody dancing.”

Though many things are different from past years, the festival’s mission remains the same.

“All these changes have been designed to make the festival bigger and better and even more magnificent,” Saunders says.

The Magnificent Midlothian Food Festival takes place Oct. 7, noon-6 p.m. at Westchester Commons. For more information, visit midlofoodfestival.com¦

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