Today, Saturday, February 20th is the start of one of my favorite things at Busch Gardens (beside Tigris), the Food and Wine Festival. I have to say, that Busch Gardens is always on point when it comes to their food selections and overall quality and portions during their food festivals. We were invited to the preview, which is very much appreciated, however, there are some plans already in place, so we unfortunately could not attend. However, we will be heading over to Busch Gardens during the festival and enjoying all the festivities so don’t worry Mayne Mafia, you will definitely not be missing out.
The event continues every weekend starting this weekend through April 25th, which gives you time to make plans to head on over to Busch Gardens and this time of year is the best time to go. There is limited capacity and a number of health and safety measures in place, including face coverings, temperature checks, and social distancing. Also, to manage park capacity and ensure that physical distancing can be maintained, reservations are required, even for pass members and Fun Card holders.
For visitors who missed out on Mardi Gras celebrations Tuesday, four “culinary cabins” feature cuisine from New Orleans. New items in Nola Eats for this year’s festival include a shrimp Po boy slider and a spicy chicken Po boy slider, which the latter would be for me. The New Orleans-inspired dessert zone is Nola Sweets, which this year features beignets — including a Woodford bourbon caramel pastry.
In total, 24 culinary cabins offer 22 new items among the 110-plus samples, which includes more than 50 wines, beers, and seltzers and more than 20 cocktails. Holy cow, you would definitely need to be putting those coasters on the back burner once you finish a go around here. Many of the menus intrigued me but this one stood out.
NEW! Hummus & Parmesan Garlic Fries
Hummus, Chili Oil, Duck Fat Fried Garlic Fries
NEW! Palermo Fontina Cheese Meatballs
Homemade Meatballs with Fontina Cheese and Fresh Herbs in Pomodoro sauce
Hand Carved Espresso-Rubbed Tenderloin
White Truffle Mash
NEW! Yuengling Raging Eagle Mango Lager, Florida
Yuengling Flight Light Lager, Florida
This is just the beginning when it comes to the booths and samplings. You can go to Busch Gardens website and check out all of the booths and menus before you go.
There is also a bourbon and tequila booth past Xcursions area where you can sample a variety of your favorite or try something new. This could be a lot of fun and open you up to trying something that you may have wanted to but didn’t want to purchase an entire bottle.
Return to Live Music with Physically-Distant Concerts Coming Soon to the Festival Stage
One of the things that has me super excited is that live music entertainment will be returning during Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival. From nationally recognized bands to local musical talent, safely eat to the beat throughout the open-air festival. Concerts included with theme park admission each Saturday in March and April on the Festival Stage. Concert acts to be announced soon.
Just to be clear, the food and beverage is not included with park admission and is available for an extra fee. The best way to take advantage of the food samplings is to purchase a sampler lanyard to use during the festival. The lanyard comes in three options — a five-, 10- or 12-item sampler. Prices start at $34.99 for the five-item sampler. Pass members can get an exclusive 15-item sampler for the price of a 12-item sampler. Personally, I feel that this is the way to go and the nice thing is, if you do not use all of your selections during your visit, you can return during the festival weekends and bring it back with you to finish out.
If you would like more information about Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival or to make a reservations go to:
All guests, including Pass Members and Fun Card Holders, must make a reservation to visit in advance in order to manage park capacity and maintain physical distancing. Create a reservation »
Spokesmayne; Busch Gardens Press Release