Story and Photos by Christina Ryan
The city streets are constantly ablaze with creativity and ingenuity, and these were not in short supply as Broad Appetit took center stage to Richmond’s summer festivities. Just a short walk down Broad St. between Henry and Adams, an oasis of music, food, and art chimed throughout the surrounding district. Broad Appetit is an annual food festival that showcases successful local restaurants as well as local artists and musicians. Attendees were given the opportunity to taste dishes (at only $3 per plate!) from 75 restaurants. Each individual restaurant submitted a dish to be judged for the ‘Best Dish Award’ by a panel of experts. Along with the vast selections of cuisine, the festival highlighted Virginia beers as well as other alcoholic beverages and wine.
Amidst the wafting smells from the side-by-side restaurant tents, local artists were able to showcase their work while several bands performed on a main stage that could be heard throughout the festival. Despite the intense heat of that Sunday afternoon, the people in attendance seemed to be in pure bliss from the sight of it all—or maybe that was the alcohol everyone seemed to be guzzling. Everything from wine slushies to $5 ‘beer sampling cups’ were available to enjoy.
The best thing about the festival was that it really embodied the community of Richmond. Not only is food such a huge part of our culture, but it brings so many different kinds of people together in a way that nothing else does. Food helps us connect and grow with one another. Broad Appetit has become a beacon of Richmond culture over the past six years and the energy could be felt as soon as you immersed yourself in the crowd.
If there is one thing I took away from Broad Appetit, it’s a better sense of the community I live in. This city is packed with eccentric flavors and striking artwork, so much so that it has become a defining characteristic of the city. Everywhere you look there is inspiration—it’s literally drawn upon our walls. Festivals like this one are a beautiful encouragement to fellow artists. They represent success and talent and embracing that which makes you different. And to that, I say: cheers.
For more information on Broad Appetit you can go here.