The Feastival is a celebration of food, music and art that raises funds and awareness for the McKees Rocks downtown development efforts. The event is hosted by the McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation whose mission is to revitalize Stowe Township & McKees Rocks (Sto-Rox).
Sto-Rox is a community rich with history, tradition, and incredible potential, only a five-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh! But it is also threatened by concentrated poverty, high vacancy rates, and negative public perception that has increased over decades of decline. The McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation (MRCDC) was formed in 2003 to address these issues and restore the community to an economically and culturally prosperous state. Guided by a 20-year strategic plan, MRCDC aims to achieve this goal through addressing three areas of interest; commercial development, neighborhood stabilization and community engagement.
To fulfill the community engagement sector of the strategic plan, the MRCDC created the Feastival in 2013 as a pop-up event to engage the community in the development of our downtown business district. With food being an integral part of the business and cultural heritage of McKees Rocks, it had to be the theme for the Feastival.
At the time, Pittsburgh policies were prohibitive of food trucks and where they’d want to be, so it seemed to be the perfect fit. With 500 attendees in its first year, we knew the event had serious potential. The following year, the event grew to 1500 attendees (yes – that’s a 300% growth in one year!) thanks in part to a stronger focus on music, a winning partnership with the Thunderbird Café in Lawrenceville, 14 food truck/vendor participants, and 16 additional vendors. Over the past few years, attendance has grown to more than 4,000.
This year, we plan to further expand the Feastival as we refine its mission. After completing two market studies surrounding the downtown business district, we have identified that a triad of art, music, and food will define the future success of downtown McKees Rocks. In a five-mile drive time, there is a demand for $7.3 million of full-service restaurant spending, and only $1.5 million is currently being met. Not only do we lack healthy options, but we lack options all together. With the Roxian Theatre project underway, the state-of-the-art Father Ryan Arts Center already operating across the street, and the clear desperation of our food industry, we aim to celebrate our vision of a revitalized, mixed-use downtown and bring awareness to the steps we need to get there.
Visit www.pghfeastival.com for more information
IMPRESSIONS, JUNE 2014
IMPRESSIONS, JUNE 2014