Feast or Famine? Food and Wine Festivals Grapple with COVID Cancelations

by Matthew Wexler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday January 11, 2021

Zola Bakes rainbow cookies from last year's New York City Wine & Food Festival.
Zola Bakes rainbow cookies from last year's New York City Wine & Food Festival.  (Source:nycwff/Instagram)

The Sun Wine & Food Fest, one of Mohegan Sun's largest property-wide events, is the latest large-scale food and wine event to cancel due to COVID-19.

Over the past 17 years, Sun Wine & Food Fest has developed into a four-day, multi-event festival. The event welcomes thousands of guests throughout the weekend and features 30 local and nationally acclaimed chefs. Hundreds of vendors are also showcased to offer the greatest assortment of experiences for guests. Sun Wine & Food Fest brings people from all over for the same reason — to celebrate and experience the incredible art and joy of the culinary world. The resort and casino, situated on 185 acres in southeast Connecticut, intends to bring the event back in 2022.

Other large-scale food and wine events, such as the New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF), reimagined programming to include limited-capacity live events as well as virtual happenings. NYCWFF's line-up sold-out last October, proving that New Yorkers trusted safety protocols, craving high-end culinary experiences like a $400 Italian feast at Marea or an evening with acclaimed out chef Gabrielle Hamilton.

The Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival, typically held in February, has been pushed to May 20-23, 2021. The 20th-anniversary event, which has yet to announce programming, has been one of the nation's benchmark culinary events for the past two decades, drawing celebrity chefs from around the world.

For those ready to hop the ocean in 2021, many European food festivals are still on track, including Taste of Dublin (June 17-20, 2021), Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival (August 20-29, 2021), and Primi d'Italia (September 23-26), which celebrates Italy's first courses such as pasta, soups and polenta.

Matthew Wexler is EDGE's National Senior Editor of Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Branded Content. More of his writing can be found at www.wexlerwrites.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @wexlerwrites.

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