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Applebee's managers Deb Duncan and Todd Young serve customers at the annual A Taste of Meadville on Wednesday.

For Heather DeVore and her friends, it wasn’t so much a question of what to eat, but a simple matter of how athletically their stomachs could perform.

“What would you not eat here?” the Meadville Area Senior High 12th-grader asked rhetorically while taking a short plate-break at Thursday’s annual A Taste of Meadville.

She and two pals, Ben Samples and David Eddy, had already plowed their ways through plates filled with culinary samples from some of the 30 local restaurants and food-related establishments featured at the Taste. And after pizza, Italian chicken, egg rolls, cinnamon rolls and pumpkin ice cream (“I’m not gonna lie. I eat it every year,” said DeVore), the trio said they were just getting started.

They were only three of the roughly 700 foodies from around the region who gathered at all points around Meadville’s Market House for this year’s Taste. Now in its 11th year, the festival celebrates the bounty of local foods and provide funds to keep the historic structure in good repair.

Along with food, drinks, more food and more drinks, this year’s Taste included live musical performances, roaming clowns and a World War II theme including an assorted display of military jeeps, trailers and even an M29 Studebaker Weasel, a tracked personnel and cargo carrier. The war displays previewed Active Aging Inc.’s upcoming three-day “Through a Veteran’s Eye — a Salute” programs Nov. 8 to 10.

“It’s like a carnival, except with a lot more food,” Eddy said between bites.



YOU CAN GO

The harvest season celebrations at Meadville’s Market House didn’t end Thursday. The official ribbon-cutting for the newly-bricked plaza there is scheduled for Saturday, when “A Taste of the Meadville Market House” will feature a brand-new assortment of local meats as well as other locally-produced goodies. Music will fill the new plaza, with Market House regular Frank Marzano singing and playing the guitar from 10 a.m. to noon and a group led by local favorite Sam Reese performing from noon to 2 p.m.

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