HughE Dillon: Feastival

Everyone from Stephen Starr and Ed Rendell to Marc Vetri and Suzanne Roberts turned out for the Live Arts/Philly Fringe fundraising bash last night

The second annual Feastival took place under the glow of the Ben Franklin Bridge at Pier 9 last night. It was a huge success. The buzz in the building, and on Twitter was how this event really kicked it up a notch as the total package. The venue was unique. The food was from some of Philly’s finest restaurants. The crowd was fashionable and friendly. Most importantly for the fundraising event, Feastival took in much-needed money for the annual Live Arts/Philly Fringe, which is going on right now and runs through this Saturday.

Below: 2011 Feastival co-chairs Tony Forte and Martha McGeary Snider.

Below: Co-hosts Stephen Starr, Audrey Claire Taichman and Michael Solomonov. Governor Rendell was the night’s honoree.

Below: Hope Cohen, Donna Coghlan, Advanced Staging Productions, and Steve Wildemann, president of Advanced Staging Productions, which did all the event technology including the big projection screens behind them.

Below: Richard Vague, Live Arts/Philly Fringe board president, greets Suzanne Roberts.

Below: Sal and Inga D’Angelo, with Marc Vetri.

Below: Mike Toub, Nicole Cicchitti, Jason Cichonski, and Chip Roman. Chip and Jason tell me that their restaurant Ella should be open in another month. Jason tells me that he and Nicole have been dating for about a month now after meeting on a blind date. A friend texted him to say, “I have an awesome girl for you to meet,” and Jason tells me she is awesome.

More than 600 guests sampled delicious dishes from the various restaurants, while acrobats, fire breathers and Cirque du Soleil-like performers entertained from above, and bands performed on a stage nearby. It really was a spectacular evening. The event space was unique, and I can’t wait to see what they turn this pier into as it is prime real estate for something exciting.

Below: Jerry Blavat, Kharisma McIlwaine, of CBS3/CW, and Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick.

Below: Scott Barnes, Starr Restaurants, Johari Rollins, the Jimmy Rollins Foundation, Hannah Purbe, Sporting Club, and Governor Rendell.

Below: Mike Rainone, Marcin Bielecki, Melissa Tagye, and Michael Donato, all from Susquehanna Bank, one of the sponsors of the event.

Below: Melissa DeRuiter, executive vice president of development at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and Jane Pepper.

Below: John Fry, Drexel University president, and Martha McGeary Snider. I’m looking forward to the dedication of the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building next week on September 20th. What a wonderful asset to the future of the education of the students who go to Drexel.

Below: Allison Kostiuk, marketing director at Saks Fifth Avenue, with a few models.

Below: Justin Fine, of Ru La La, and Leo and Bridget Addando.

HughE Dillon covers parties, events and more for the Philly Post. You can follow him on Twitter @iPhillyChitChat and visit his daily online social diary at