Friday is a bad day to be a French fry in Downtown York.
July 13 is National French Fry Day, and Downtown Inc CEO Silas Chamberlin will celebrate accordingly by eating fries at 27 locations throughout Downtown York, all in one day. Downtown Inc has billed the historic deep-fried day as the First-Ever Downtown York Fantastic French Fry Frenzy.
Chamberlin has been training for the past month by secretly increasing his intake of French fries, studying the various offerings around Downtown York and staying hydrated to keep his body in peak physical condition.
“I’ve been working hard. I hope it pays off,” Chamberlin said between bites of fries from Marcello’s Pizza. “God-willing, I’ll make it through every stop. I can’t make any promises. After all, I’m only a mortal man.”
The epic French fry crawl will begin at 7:30 a.m. at Central Family Restaurant and conclude at 9:30 p.m. at Holy Hound Taproom. In between, Chamberlin will sample French fries at conventional locations like McDonald’s, as well as unexpected stops such as Hamir’s Indian Fusion and PeoplesBank Park.
J.R.’s French Fries, the iconic Central Market French fry stand, will even offer special hours during National French Fry Day, opening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Celebrity tasters will join Chamberlin to share some fries, cheer him on and celebrate our great downtown businesses.
“When we started this journey, I thought there would be about five or six locations for French fries,” Chamberlin said. “But when the number started climbing, and then grew beyond 20 locations, I realized this would not be the work of one man. So we invited friends to join us along the way to help.”
Facebook Live broadcasts will highlight each stop. Downtown Inc invites everyone to follow along at Facebook.com/DowntownYorkPa and to share their own photos from National French Fry Day with the hashtag #FryDayYork.
While the Frenzy offers a tasty way to spotlight restaurants across Downtown York, it’s also an opportunity for redemption for Chamberlin.
The York County native seemingly had a promising future as a competitive eater. He won the 2001 Lunchroom Showdown at Northeastern High School, demolishing four holiday dinners in one sitting.
However, the next year brought stinging defeat. Chamberlin, then a senior, lost the title.
Chamberlin recovered from the loss and went on to earn his Ph.D., publish a book with Yale University Press and became a leader in his field.
Yet the loss from senior year haunted him. Now, on National French Fry Day, Chamberlin wants to prove he still has what it takes to consume an unnecessary amount of food in one day.
“This is an opportunity to prove that I can still be a champion eater,” he said, adding that after he completes the Fantastic French Fry Frenzy, he could turn his attention to pizza or possibly dessert items. “The sky is really the limit when it comes to eating, and Downtown York offers it all.”
The full schedule for the First-Ever Downtown York Fantastic French Frenzy is as follows:
- 7:30 a.m.: Central Family Restaurant
- 8:30 a.m.: Roost Uncommon Kitchen
- 9:30 a.m.: McDonald’s
- 10 a.m.: J.R.’s Fries (Inside Central Market)
- 10:15 a.m.: Mezzogiorno (Inside Central Market)
- 10:30 a.m.: Bair’s Fried Chicken (Inside Central Market)
- 11 a.m.: Mudhook Brewing Co.
- 11:30 a.m.: Marcello’s Pizza
- 12 p.m. White Rose Bar & Grill
- 12:30 p.m. Ethel’s BBQ (Inside Penn Market)
- 1 p.m. York Blue Moon
- 1:30 p.m.: Pat & Tony’s
- 2 p.m.: Roosevelt Tavern
- 2:30 p.m.: Hamir’s Indian Fusion
- 3 p.m. Picalonga Sabor Tropical
- 3:30 p.m. Taste Test: Southern Slider Bar
- 4 p.m.: Granfalloons Tavern
- 4:30 p.m. Pizza Boli’s
- 5 p.m.: Iron Horse York
- 5:30 p.m.: Revival Social Club
- 6 p.m.: The Left Bank
- 6:30 p.m. Rockfish Public House
- 7 p.m.: The Handsome Cab
- 7:30 p.m.: PeoplesBank Park
- 8:30 p.m.: First Capital
- 9 p.m.: The Waterway
- 9:30 p.m.: Holy Hound Taproom
SOURCE: Downtown Inc.