The Charleston Food + Wine Fest’s Erika McMillan released some numbers about this year’s event a few days ago, but I forgot to post about them.

Some highlights: attendance up by 2K, every event sold out, and a significant increase in local ticket sales.


I’m not surprised to see that attendance was up at this year’s festival, particularly for locals. This was the first year the festival offered a locals-only ticket for the Sunday culinary village, which I thought was a cool option.

They also had a marquee celebuchef to help pull in the crowds. The Bobby Flay event I went to on Friday afternoon was slammed. He was a huge draw.

Overall, this year’s programming was spot on. In its fourth year, the festival has hit its stride, providing events and seminars that appeal to the professional attendees as well as nonprofessional food lovers. The level of talent they bring in is pretty impressive too, which has a lot to do with the participation and reputation of our local chefs.

And finally, the festival should be commended for increasing its recycling. They’ll announce the  final numbers on how much was recycled next week. Their janitorial service worked with Fisher Recycling to pick up cardboard cases, wine, and beer bottles each day at the culinary village, and they brought in 15 of the city’s new recycling bins for events to encourage attendees to recycle, so that number should be pretty big.

Did you attend this year’s event? Got something to say? Head over to the festival’s website and take the local attendees survey and let them know what you think.