Charleston Wine + Food Festival had its most successful year to date in 2013, with 23,000 guests making a $10.7 million dollar impact — $2 million more than 2012. Those are big numbers for a festival that had a shaky start but grew quickly to become a trendsetter in the food festival world, focusing on its Southern roots and local chefs while inviting the rest of the culinary world to stop in for a taste.
Could the festival's big numbers be attributed to the incredibly popular Waffle House Smackdown?
For more numbers, see the festival's annual report here:
See related PDF
But changes are afoot. After the festival closed in March, founding executive director Angel Postell resigned
, and board president Rick Jerue stepped in as interim director
. In May, the board hired a consultant and launched a nationwide search for a replacement.
Jerue and team instituted some immediate changes too, including moving the date of next year's festival from Feb. 27-March 2 to March 6-9 2014. The upcoming ticket launch party has also been moved. For the last few years, it's happened in August. This year, tickets will still go on sale in September 18 with a launch party at Mixson Bath & Racquet Club in North Charleston.
Another popular event that raised a good chunk of change for the festival's chosen charity of the year, the Ultimate Critics' Dinner, is being put on hiatus for a year. Communications Director Ashley Zink tells us that they plan to bring it back in the future, but they wanted to give it a break to keep it from getting stale. She adds, however, that they will be doing some sort of fall 2013 event, which will be announced soon.
In the meantime, tickets to the launch party to go on sale in August. Keep your eye on charlestonwineandfood.com for more.