CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The annual Charleston Wine & Food Festival, which highlights the Lowcountry’s diverse culinary and hospitality community, began Wednesday at noon.
Mayor John Tecklenburg kicked off the event with a keynote address in Marion Square.
The Charleston Wine + Food festivals runs through Sunday evening and is celebrating its 15th year. It features a variety of events and opportunities to bring people together. For an entire schedule of events and for tickets: https://charlestonwineandfood.com/schedule/.
Charleston Wine + Food is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports the Lowcountry community.
The five-day festival highlights the diverse culinary and hospitality community around the lowcountry with a variety of events and opportunities.
Organizers say they started the event to bring people to Charleston during March, a month that was typically not as busy for tourism. They also started it with the goal of putting Charleston on the map for its exceptional food.
Last year, the Charleston Wine and Food Festival partnered with the College of Charleston to conduct an economic impact study on the event.
Last year the five-day festival brought in over $18.5 million.
The Culinary Village, located in Marion Square, is what organizers call the heart of the festival. They expect the Culinary Village to welcome nearly 10,000 guests over a three-day period. The Village is also home to chef demos, wine tastings, beer and spirits samplings, live music, unique shopping experiences, and more.
“We usually hover between 47 and 49 different states represented. We’re hoping for that year where we get all 50,” Charleston Wine+Food Festival spokesperson Alyssa Smith said.
This year the event is welcoming a chef from as far as Ghana to come cook.
The event will feature specials from stores, exercise studios, and restaurants around town.
This weekend even features food and beverage tastings for kids on Saturday at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.