|By Katelyn Gendron|
Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD The signature event of Westfield on Weekends (WoW) WinterGreen Days, the Restaurant & Pub Tour, has entertained audiences and tantalized the senses of those in Greater Westfield for the past two years.
The third annual tour, set for April 5, will feature a lineup of local musicians, raffle prizes, a scavenger hunt and free hors d'oeuvres at 10 participating downtown eateries: Fired Up, The Maple Leaf Inn, Piccolo's, Santiago's, the School Street Bistro, The Tavern, the Tea Pot Gallery, Tommy D's, the Westwood Restaurant and Pub and Whip City Brew.
"There are hidden secrets [about these establishments] that we are trying to reveal," Chris Dunphy, chair of WinterGreen Days and vice president of WoW, said.
WinterGreen Days is one of WoW's four seasonal celebrations: a two-month-long calendar of events filled with theater, concerts, crafts and lectures embracing the city's culture while the welcoming spring season.
Nine of the tour's eateries will showcase live music such as Latin salsa music at Santiago's, the classic rock band In Time at The Tavern and "electro acoustic" guitarist Peter Miles at the Tea Pot Gallery, Dunphy added.
"It's like a mini music festival," Bob Plasse, president of WoW, said. "People can go from pub to restaurant and really get a great sampling of music from rhythm and blues at Piccolo's or In Time at The Tavern. Not only are you getting to see some great places but hearing incredible music."
Those participating in the tour will also have a chance to watch the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Basketball Tournament, broadcast at each location. The tour will incorporate the tournament with a game new to this year's tour called "Scrabble Madness."
In addition to a scavenger hunt and raffle prizes at each location, tour participants will collect letter tiles in an effort to spell the nicknames of one of the 2008 NCAA Basketball Tournament teams. A completed nickname will enter the participant in a chance to win Boston Red Sox tickets, a tour of Berkshire Brewery, dinner at Chandler's Restaurant or tickets to see the Springfield Falcons.
Scavenger hunt prizes will include gift certificates to the 10 tour venues. "Our committee is secretly developing questions that can only be answered by visiting one of the tour stops," Dunphy explained.
"As people walk from place to place I hope they can appreciate the fact that we have many places within walking distance," he said. "It's not just the tour stops. Westfield is a charming downtown with character, many historic buildings, some wide sidewalks, period lighting and many other places that help define a city. Certainly there are aspects that can be improved, but the key elements are there which need to be supported."
Tickets for the tour can be purchased at the Tea Pot Gallery, 22 Elm St., or Whip City Brew, 287 North Main St. The cost is $10 per person.
For more information about WinterGreen Days or other WoW events go to www.westfieldonweekends.org.