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Cherry Picked: Councilman John Chapman Named Honorary Chair of Alexandria’s 2020 “Cherry Challenge”

Alexandria Councilman John Taylor Chapman. (Photo: John David Coppola)

Alexandria, VA – The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee (GWBCC) is has named “Night Mayor” Councilman John Taylor Chapman as it’s “Honorary Cherry Challenge Chair”.

GWBCC also released a video announcing Chapman’s selection that may be viewed here:

The Cherry Challenge is the first major kick-off program to celebrate the life of General George Washington, our nation’s first president, who lived, worked and socialized in Alexandria.

The challenge features restaurants across the city competing to win by crafting their choice of a cherry-oriented appetizer, entrée, beverage or dessert. Diners at participating restaurants judge the cherry dishes by depositing their ballot in a sealed box. The contest begins January 26th and ends February 9th. Winning restaurants are invited to participate in the city’s annual George Washington Parade that caps off the yearly birthday celebration.

“What better way to highlight the culinary creativity of the current restaurateurs in George’s hometown, and at the same time keep George’s cherry tree legend alive, than to eat and drink deliciously prepared cherries!!!!”, Chapman said. “And who better to attempt to eat and drink ALL of these cherry treats and drinks than the Night Mayor!!”

“We needed a Cherry Challenge Honorary Chairperson with a record of being out on the town all the time, especially in the evening, and who isn’t afraid to eat and drink,” said GWBCC chair, Joe Shumard. “I’m confident that the ‘Night Mayor’, Councilor John Chapman, can use his super powers for good by promoting the Cherry Challenge and our city’s annual George Washington Birthday Celebration that culminates in a city parade on Monday, February 17th.”

“Should you spot the “Night Mayor” ask him about the Cherry Challenge and our annual George Washington parade,” said Shumard. “If you take a photo, please share it with us on Facebook or Twitter!”

Last year’s Cherry Challenge winners included: Café 44 (44 Canal Center Plaza) for its Sakura Bellini (Beverage); Riverbend Bistro (7966 Fort Hunt Road) for its Cherry and Goat Cheese Flatbread (Appetizer); Lori’s Table (1028 King Street) Cherry Tree Panini (Entrée); Vaso’s Kitchen (1225 Powhatan Street) for its Cherry Cheesecake (Dessert). Honorable Mention winners included Taqueria el Poblano (2400 Mt. Vernon Avenue), Tempo Restaurant (4231 Duke Street) and Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub (713 King Street). More than 40 Alexandria restaurants participated in the 2019 contest.

Patrons are encouraged to Tweet photos and descriptions of the cherry items they tasted by using the hashtag “#CherryChallenge” or by posting them to the George Washington Birthday Celebration’s Facebook page.

The George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee (GWBCC) is a city-appointed volunteer committee whose responsibility is to run each year’s birthday celebration that includes the parade and events all across the city. For more information and a schedule for this year’s events, please visit

Contributions to GWBCC are tax-deductible and essential to each year’s success.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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