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A how to guide on the Charleston Wine and Food Festival



College of Charleston


- sponsored

A how to guide on the Charleston Wine and Food Festival

The guide to experiencing the best events on a college budget.

Samantha Buckley


Another event is on the books for downtown Charleston this weekend, so what better way to celebrate than by letting everyone in on how to enjoy the Charleston Wine and Food Festival as a college student? This festival starts on February 28th and ends March 4th. It is also good to note that the majority of money for the festival goes to One80 Place, as the Charleston Wine and Food Festival is a nonprofit organization.

There are plenty events that are affordable on a budget or even a splurge worth every penny. Your wallet may have a limit, but most events have unlimited food and alcohol. So, what is stopping you from purchasing your tickets? There are several events under $100 that are beyond worth it. A lot of college students cannot afford to spend more than $100 on an event or concert, but with this insight any interested festival goers will have a way to pick and choose which events are actually worth your hard earned cash.

This guide focuses on events under $100, but there are many more events over that price range if none of these pique your interest.

*There are even some discounts for Charleston locals, so make sure you enter your zip code when you checkout to see if the events you want to attend offer them.*

Up first are the Culinary Villages, where you have five hours to spend in Marion Square eating and drinking your afternoon away with some of the most talented chefs and food companies from local and national restaurants. Last year, they had a rosé station that served endless rosé all day, a beer garden for the beer lovers, a hidden wine tasting garden called the "Corkyard", and plenty of food to keep you happy.

There is live music, cookbook signings, picture opportunities, and even special events on the stage to entertain the crowds. You also get to keep your wine glass and your beer tasting glass. Normally tickets for the event are $110 to $125, but for Sunday's Culinary Village - you can buy a local's ticket for $75. If you break down the $75 it comes to about 6 cocktails from any restaurant downtown. You could feasibly get those 6 drinks throughout your journey in the village, I would not recommend doing that... but you get the point.

Also a really cool thing about the festival is they use compostable plates and utensils to cut down on the waste from the festival. They also compost the leftover food that is thrown out by festival goers as well. Sustainability is a cool thing.

If you are interested in panels, especially about the food industry, the Business of Food event is an incredible panel that has a lot of power players talking this year. Last year had an incredible line up, and this year looks just as good. After the panel there are usually drinks and food to munch on, and it is all included in the price of your ticket.

This year's topic is Modernist Cuisine, which is an interesting topic in today's food and drink world. The description for the event on their website also includes that it will be a "discussion on how progressive restaurateurs move beyond mere philanthropic giving to leverage experience and knowledge to drive social and cultural change." This is an event that you can get $20 off if you are a local and include your zip code when purchasing your ticket. That takes the $45 dollar ticket to $25, which is a complete steal. It may be the most affordable event offered!

The opening and closing events of the festival are always incredible experiences as everyone comes together in celebration of food and the food community. The opening event is the most expensive event I will list in this guide, priced at $150, but it is worth it if you want to splurge on an event. The closing event, Toasted, is $85 and completely focused on BBQ and beer.

Namaste Bubbly is for those of you who go to weekly barre or yoga classes. If you want to stay healthy, like champagne, or really enjoy yoga, they also have an event for you. It may be the most expensive yoga class you've ever taken, but as they say, "no pain no gain".

These next events are going to cover beer and ale. The Brewmaster's Table ($65) is a beer and small plate tasting on the best beer and food pairings as well as a live cooking demonstration.

For the architect lovers, there is even an event for you. Flavor By Design: Anything but Ordinary will cover how designing a top tier dining room made the Ordinary more than that. There is also an event regarding how The Cigar Factory came to be and how it was designed called Flavor by Design: Developing Dreams ($95).

If you're outdoorsy and enjoy being on the water, there's an event catered to you too. Charleston Wine and Food Festival takes kayaking and paddle-boarding to a new level with their Guided Paddling Eco-Tour ($75) where you explore the waters and then take part in the fish fry after.

You can check in on the status of these events on their website, to make sure that there are still tickets available.