CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Wine and Food Festival officially kicked off in Marion Square Wednesday.
It has events in Awendaw, James Island, Sullivan's Island, all over the Tri-County. Marion Square in downtown Charleston is known as the heart of the festival.
This year is expected to be bigger than ever, with record-breaking ticket sales. More than 23,000 people are expected to filter through the festival.
"A lot of people say any weather is good weather for a glass of wine, but I think this weekend in particular will be great. It's going to feel like fall so plenty of opportunity to walk around and have a great beer or cocktail," festival executive director Jillian Zettler said. "We've been blown away. Some of our largest events have sold out in record times. Saturday and Sunday at the Culinary Village has been sold out for weeks. I'm hoping people take advantage of those last few tickets available."
To see events that still have tickets available for purchase, click this link.
One of the events that still has availability is Pecha Kucha at the Charleston Music Hall. It features local culinary and hospitality luminaries, along with Choir! Choir! Choir!.
"People who don't know what Pecha Kucha is, it's like a rapid fire, Ted-esque style talk," Zettler explained. "People leave feeling very inspired."
As for the rest of the festival, plan on seeing a lot of new faces and activities.
"We made a decision four years ago that we would change up 85-90% of the program every year. There are fan favorites returning but virtually the entire program is new," Zettler said.
Zettler encourages everyone to take advantage of ride-sharing programs, like Lyft or Uber. If you plan to take your own form of transportation, plan ahead.
"The best thing to do is leave time to park downtown, take advantage of garages, bicycles, all that good stuff," Zettler said.
Zettler said the 13th annual Wine & Food Festival this year will be one for the books.
"I'm so excited! The year, when you're planning for 360 days, it goes by so quickly."