A survey by the College of Charleston on March’s annual Charleston Wine + Food Festival found that 54 percent of the 28,000 attendees were local. CofC’s Office of Tourism also found a 30 percent increase in spending at local retail stores and restaurants by out-of-town visitors compared to last year’s festival.
In total, W+F reports a measured economic impact of $19.9 million, an increase from the previous year.
According to the fest, 189 of the 361 participating chefs were local, and the event created volunteer opportunities for approximately 400 people over the course of the weekend.
An announcement detailing the programming for the 2021 festival will likely occur later this fall due to COVID-19. The 2020 festival got in just under the wire as large public events like it were being canceled nationwide.
In the meantime, W+F has contributed to local organizations like the Pay It Forward campaign and the MUSC COVID-19 testing facility in West Ashley where they delivered eight pallets of water.