Coronavirus, Food + Drink

Everything you need to know about Columbia Food and Wine Festival 2020

Wine glass being held in the air
Columbia Food and Wine Festival 2019 | Photo by Forrest Clonts

ICYMI, the third annual Columbia Food and Wine Festival – originally scheduled for late April – was rescheduled to Aug. 20-23, 2020 due to COVID-19. Now, the festival’s organizers have reimagined the event for it to safely take place in a new, exciting format

Here’s everything you need to know about #CFWF2020: How plans have changed, what safety measures are in place, and how festival-goers can feel like they’re on an episode of Top Chef right here in Cola.

What it looked like before:

  • 7 small, intimate “satellite events” across the region across 3 days (originally Aug. 20-22)
  • Main outdoor tasting event at Historic Columbia’s Hampton Preston Mansion on Aug. 23
  • Festival organizers determined that holding these events would not allow for adequate social distancing. So they did what #SodaCitizens do best: Got creative + made a plan.

What it looks like now:

  • 2 outdoor, seated dining experiences: Dinner on Sat., August 22 at 7:30 p.m. +  brunch on Sunday, August 23 at 11:00 a.m.
  • The outdoor meals will be held at the Hampton-Preston Mansion and its sister property the Robert Mills House, both managed by Historic Columbia. 
  • Each outdoor meal will have four zoned seating areas, with two zones on each historic property. 
  • Each zone will allow for up to 100 attendees, with total attendance per experience capped at 400. 
  • At each event, attendees will enjoy a four-course meal prepared by a team of 3-4 chefs, with a different team preparing the menu for each respective zone. Kind of like an episode of Top Chef. 😍
  • Chefs include Kristian Niemi of Black Rooster + Bourbon, Nelson De Hoyos of Hall’s Chophouse, Jessica Shillato of Spotted Salamander Cafe & Catering + more.

Safety measures in place:

  • Expanded registration/check-in process with physical space to allow for social distancing + crowd control
  • Utilizing digital thermometers to document all attendees’ temps prior to check-in 
  • Disposable masks + individual hand sanitizer bottles available to all attendees, with masks required at any point a guest is not sitting at their table
  • Tables of no more than six seats, with each table 6+ feet apart
  • Established directions for each zone’s attendees to enter/exit
  • All courses will be individually plated and served

Ticketing info:

  • Brunch experience tickets are $65/person, with dinner tickets going for $95/person.
  • Pricing includes all food + beverages – gratuity is not included. 
  • Festival-goers get to choose their zone knowing the featured chefs + menu theme. 
  • Already had tickets to the original festival events for 2020? They can be exchanged for tickets to the new dining experiences or shifted to use in 2021.