Charleston Wine + Food to press pause until 2022

The popular festival will not take place as planned next March due to COVID-19.

By Robin Gibson / Photo by Robin Gibson

"While we can’t predict what will happen in the next day, month or year, we do believe we will come together again to celebrate over wine and food." — Gillian Zettler

In a move aimed at riding out the dangers associated with COVID-19,Charleston Wine + Foodwill undoubtedly benefit from time off by restructuring the organization in a way that's in keeping with the current political climate.

Recognizing deficiencies with regards to inclusion and diversity, and admitting them along with a desire to bring change, this break in scheduling will only serve to help the festival improve itself and achieve its stated goal.

Mark your calendars for a much-anticipated return, however, March 2-6, 2022. Until then, look for a combination of strategic community partnerships, digital content, and live-streamed conversations and events to come over the next nine months. The festival is planning to drop its 2022 programming late next spring ahead of a normal release that happens at the end of August.

Growing concerns over virus safety and the hits that keep pounding the restaurant industry it supports prompted the cancellation, even if doing so was difficult.

“This was a tough decision to make — this festival is an important event for the City of Charleston, and our favorite way to bring people together to share stories and connect,” saysSteve Palmer,Chair of the Charleston Wine + Food Board of Directors. He went on to add that, "the safety and security of our guests, participating talent, staff, vendors, and community is of the utmost importance," and, therefore, preceded any other choice.

Executive Director, Gillian Zettler, weighed in with what to expect going forward. "In place of the in-person 2021 festival, we'll be offering new ways to uplift the culinary + hospitality community for whom the organization was created to promote and continue our efforts to make Charleston Wine + Food a more inclusive and equitable organization." 

“While we can’t predict what will happen in the next day, month or year, we do believe we will come together again to celebrate over wine and food,” Zettler added. "Until then, our team will be working hard to design a 2022 festival filled with experiences to ignite a fire in your belly, and inspire curiosity in your heart.”

In keeping with its mission of producing experiences that celebrate, educate, and promote the Lowcountry's diverse culinary and hospitality community, a reset button now couldn't be timelier. Are you excited for what's to come? I am. Here's to keeping everyone safe and a Charleston Wine + Food that's even better than before. (And it was great!)