Mario Cicchinelli can remember a time when there was no Union Centre exit off of Interstate 75. When nothing but cornfields covered both sides of the highway.
But now, as chief operating officer of ColdIron Enterprises, Cicchinelli is putting his efforts back into the township to expand the growth of businesses and get people excited about the opportunities the Streets of West Chester development has to offer.
First developed in 2003, the Streets of West Chester has played second fiddle to its nearby relative, The Square @ Union Centre, where festival after festival has filled the roads and grassy fields with food trucks and restaurant booths.
Now, it’s the Streets’ time to shine with the Taps, Tastes and Tunes festival this weekend, the first Streets of West Chester event in its 15 years of existence.
“It’s kind of something we’ve talked about for a while and a lot of people attend a lot of our other events and they say ‘You need to bring an event to West Chester,’” said Cicchinelli, whose event production company has worked with Taste of Cincinnati, Glier’s Goettafest and more.
ColdIron has partnered with the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance in the hopes of truly benefiting the township with a good time.
“We thought (the festival’s) time had come, and it’s an opportunity to promote the businesses that are there and bring people to our area where they can enjoy food, entertainment, and a family-friendly environment,” Jim Hinson, president and CEO of the Chamber, said.
LaRosa’s, Bravo!, Haveli Indian Grill, Mitchell’s Fish Market and Phenomenal Corn are just some of the booths that will fill the streets with food options as well as fare from other West Chester Twp. and area restaurants.
Hinson said he looks forward to families and foodies alike coming from all over to enjoy.
“Our hope is that it draws from the Cincinnati or Dayton area as well,” Hinson said. “Once they come and see what we have to offer… our hope is that they come back.”
Taps, Tastes and Tunes will also feature a variety of musical entertainment.
“We have a very diverse group of music,” Cicchinelli said. “If you don’t like Friday night’s band, come on in on Saturday. If you don’t like Saturday, come Sunday.”
One of those bands is the Everyday People Band, a group based out of Cincinnati with a real love for making people dance. Even they are excited to invite people out to the Streets.
“To be asked to help make this a successful event and drive business for the entire community is a huge compliment,” said Lee Laney, the band’s drummer.
On their playlist is Bruno Mars, Earth Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin and Prince. A special part of the performance is the “Miss Brick House” contest, where the band gives away merchandise for whoever does the best dance to the Commodores’ “Brick House” song.
“Tell everyone to bring their dancing shoes,” Laney said.
The Sunburners will open up Saturday’s festivities with some classic beach tunes. Defining themselves as an “island party band,” they’re excited to kick the day off with Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley.
“A festival like this one with local music, local food, and local beer is very much us,” Scotty McEvoy said of his band. “It’s the kind of stuff meant to be played at an outdoor festival, so the Streets of West Chester is a great place for us to be a part of.”
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WHAT: Taps, Tastes and Tunes
WHEN: June 22-24; 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Streets of West Chester, 9448 Waterfront Drive
COST: Admission and concerts are free. Food available for purchase.
5 to 7:30 p.m.: The Everyday People Band
8 to 11 p.m.: Elementree Livity Project
Noon to 3:15 p.m.: The Sunburners
4 to 7:15 p.m.: 3 Day Rule
8 to 11 p.m.: Final Order
Noon to 2:30 p.m.: Buzz Bin
3 to 5:30 p.m: The Everyday People Band
6 to 9 p.m.: Trailer Park Floosies
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