Put on by the Reston Chamber of Commerce, Taste of Reston is an annual outdoor festival perfect for the summertime. With this being the 27th year the event has taken place, it was no surprise that it was the most successful with over 60,000 people attending. The weekend chosen for this year’s festival was June 16 to 17. When I arrived, just seeing the sheer immensity of the booths and crowds I could immediately see why it was voted “Northern Virginia’s Best Food Festival” by Virginia Living for the past six years. The festival housed over fifty booths of food, drink, and businesses, as well as having three different stages at each end of Market Street.
Despite the dreary weather and the rain in the forecast, Taste of Reston once again thrived this year. Even when the rain started to come down, people continued to walk the street and enjoy themselves. Everyone was prepared with umbrellas and rain coats which made it clear that no one had the intention of leaving early. The atmosphere was very family friendly and the street was full of children enjoying themselves. Also, many people brought their dogs which added to the festival’s fun atmosphere. Though the crowd was large, it was not difficult to navigate Market Street and it never felt over-crowded or crammed. The complete diversity of the food selection allowed for everyone to find something they liked from Arlington Donut Factory to Guapo’s Rotisserie Chicken to The Zone. Along with the food, booths were also set up for beer, wine, and beverages. Having purchased tickets beforehand, no paper money was spent at these booths. You, however, paid in mini tickets at each booth which was a huge benefit and allowed people to enjoy themselves without worrying about over spending their money. Another financial benefit of this event is free parking. It makes events much easier to enjoy when you know you do not have to over spend for a parking spot, or worry about racking up a bill with the amount of time you spend in a parking spot.
As the evening continued into the night, most of the crowd moved to the main stage across from the fountain for the best part of the night. The dance floor began to fill up as Jeff from Accounting played popular songs. People of all ages and genders showed off their most famous dance moves and everyone was enjoying themselves. It was very exciting to see everyone having a great time and to also see how many people stayed until the bitter end of the event. As I left Taste of Reston, I was overwhelmed with how much fun the festival was. It is very easy to see how it has won an annual award and why the festival keeps coming back each year bigger and better than the past. I have nothing but rave reviews for Taste of Reston and I am very excited to attend again next year.
Written by Anne Akers