What are the hours of this event?
This year, the festival will be held on Friday evening from 4:00PM until 8:00PM and again on Saturday for our full day, from 11AM to 8PM.
What types of payment options are available?
We accept credit cards, cash, and check. There will also be an ATM on-site, which does charge a standard surcharge fee by the ATM provider. Unfortunately we do not have any control over the surcharge, and that fee does not come back to the RVA French Food Festival, the Little Sisters of the Poor, or Commonwealth Catholic Charities.
Is there a cost to attend?
The event is free to attend, but we do ask for a suggested (and voluntary) $2 donation at the gate to help offset event related expenses. Remember, this is a fundraiser, so all proceeds of the event support the elderly Residents of St. Joseph’s Home and the senior care programs of Commonwealth Catholic Charities.
Where do I park?
We offer free parking in the Forest Office Park lots around our building and festival grounds. (For a detailed map, see ‘Parking,’ under the About tab) This can easily be accessed from Three Chopt Rd, where you will turn onto Santa Rosa Drive (there is a Village Bank on the corner) and enter the first lot directly on your left. There will be signs out on the day of the event directing you where to go, and once you have parked, there is a walk-through in the fence at the rear of our property where we will have volunteers greeting you and answering any questions you may have.
Is this a rain or shine event?
Yes! If you came in 2015, you’ll know we learned how to have a blast even on a soggy day with chilly temps! We have covered dining tents and additional options that can be set up in the event of inclement weather, but if you’re worried about hanging out don’t forget you can grab food to go!
Will there be alcohol served?
Yes, we will have both beer and wine (and wine slushies!) available for sale. You must have proper ID in order to be issued a wristband to purchase alcohol, and remember, you cannot take alcohol off the premises.
Is this event kid friendly?
Absolutely! We have a fantastic kids area operating on Saturday with plenty of games and a moon bounce. Nutsy from Richmond Flying Squirrels, Webstur from University of Richmond, and Rodney the Ram from VCU often stop by during the day on Saturday to hang out with the kids, take pictures, and join in the fun! There will be a limited children’s area on Friday. We also serve up hot dogs, chips, and snacks for those picky eaters!
Can I bring my dog?
We’d love to say ‘YES!’ because we love our four legged friends, but the nature of our festival is not necessarily suited for pets. If you do decide to bring Fido along, please be sure your dog has basic crowd manners, is properly secured on leash, and that you pick up after them. The safety and comfort of all our guests is very important to us, so keep in mind that this will be a busy event with crowds, children, and things that might make your pooch uncomfortable, so if you’re unsure how your dog will react it might be best to keep them home.
What is the price range for food?
We serve up dishes in a whole range of prices, starting from $1 for items like hot dogs and chips and capping at $10 for some entrees. Most desserts are $5, wine can be purchased by the bottle or glass, and beer by the glass. Check out our menu here for specific pricing information.
Will there be vendors?
Yep! Our Parisian Marketplace offers a variety of vendors of all types and sizes, selling everything from unique handcrafted jewelry to homemade dog biscuits. We think we have some of the best vendors in town, you definitely don’t want to skip checking them out! Check our vendor page here for more information.
Are there any vegetarian, vegan friendly, or gluten free dishes?
Chef Michael’s ratatouille is vegan, and his cheese puffs are vegetarian. The Cafe also offers cheese quiche and cheese croissant sandwiches. And don’t skip the bread booth for one of our amazing baguettes, fresh out of the oven! The flourless chocolate cake in the Desserts booth is gluten free.
Who makes the food?
We have a fantastic team of Chefs from local restaurants who volunteer their time and talents to cook up thousands of servings of their best dishes. When you come to the French Food Festival, you’re not just getting a generic freezer meal warmed up and served at a festival setting, you are getting dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients handcrafted by some of Richmond’s best culinary talent. Many of our chefs are full time owners, operators, and Executive Chefs for their restaurants, and they volunteer countless hours of their time ensuring the festival is a success, and we are endlessly grateful for their generosity and commitment. Some items, like our quiches and desserts, are made on premises by a group of fantastic volunteers who have been on board since the very beginning.
What kind of entertainment will there be?
We have great music played live on our stage, Jonathon the Juggler, kids games, and so much more. Please check out our entertainment page here for more information.
Are there bathrooms on site?
Yes, we will have port-a-potties on site (including a handicap accessible option) and a crew who will be tasked with keeping them clean and well-stocked. There will be no bathrooms available inside the building.
How can I get involved?
We LOVE our volunteers! This event truly could not run without the hundreds of amazing volunteers that give their time, energy, and talents each year. If you’re interested in volunteering at the event, check out our volunteer site at https://littlesistersofthepoor.volunteerhub.com/.
If you’d like to find out about other opportunities that may be available (outside of the day of the festival), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does this event support?
The RVA French Food Festival is put on by Commonwealth Catholic Charities and the Little Sisters of the Poor, both 501(c)3 charities. Founded in 1839 in France by Saint Jeanne Jugan, the Little Sisters have been in Richmond for over 140 years and operate St. Joseph’s Home for the elderly poor. On October 30, 2019, the Little Sisters announced that they would be withdrawing from their Richmond Home, so the French Food Festival team formed a partnership with Commonwealth Catholic Charities to continue the festival’s tradition in Richmond. Proceeds are now split evenly between the elderly Residents remaining at St. Joseph’s Home and the senior care programs of Commonwealth Catholic Charities. If you would like to find out more about these fantastic organization, please visit www.littlesistersofthepoorvirginia.org or www.cccofva.org.