It’s just about that time in the South when we all get impatient. Impatient because a lot of you have been drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes for about a month trying to force yoursefl into a cooler fall season, but the temperatures don’t cooperate. Football season is well underway, we see all of our friends on social media enjoying a snap from the heat and we want ours! Darn it! Gimmie some fall! We’ve suffered through a brutal summer long enough. That first Saturday morning you walk out with your puppy offering some relief and wind up with some of your own should be considered a national holiday. Maybe just here in the South anyway. We’ve all been there. “Wow, it feels great outside!” No, we aren’t really there yet, but when we do get there, which should be very soon, you need to get outside and take advantage of the most wonderful time of the year in our area. Some will make an argument for springtime and that’s fine. My vote is for right now due in no small part to the bevvy of food related events we can enjoy around here. They are some of the best we’ve got on the calendar any time of the year. When mother nature agrees, there are few things better. Here’s a quick guide for your planning purposes.
I was once told that Oktoberfest is River Street’s 2nd most popular event of the year. After St. Patrick’s Day of course. I don’t know if that continues to be true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The calendar of events on River Street has changed a little bit this year. The goal is fewer events, but bigger. Next up is Oktoberfest coming October 7-9th. The weiner dog races on Saturday morning are always a big hit with the crowds. Then the food. Brats, sausages and other low-calorie options-he said tongue planted firmly in cheek-are the bounty of the day. I’m told one vendor has been testing a chicken fried brat slider complete with good ol’ southern white gravy. Of course, Friday night the 7th there will be fireworks. Live music throughout the weekend and all the food you can handle. Artery clogging style. Find out more at Savannah Waterfront’s website.
If you like to take a weekend and get out of dodge every now and again, you have options. The St. Simon’s Island Food and Spirits Festival is in its 4th year down on the Golden Isles. Many people regard it as the area’s top food and wine event. Islanders love it because it is smaller and less commercialized than a lot of the food and spirits events you will encounter. “Island time” is a term I heard a lot when I was down there recently. Relax, put on some comfortable beach shoes and enjoy some fantastic food and drink. The fun actually starts on Wednesday the 5th and bounces all over the island. There will be a BBQ event at Southern Soul BBQ, a “Tasting Under the Oaks” and an oyster roast Saturday night the 8th. The list of talent in attendance is great. Something for everyone in all price ranges. Very much worth the hour-fifteen minute drive down to St. Simon’s Island. Find more information here.
If you are a regular viewer of my television show (Sunday mornings, 7:30am on WSAV) then you know all about Bluffton’s food scene. It has gone nuts. Here’s a quick fact for you: There is more great food in Bluffton, South Carolina than anywhere in the area except Savannah’s historic district and Hilton Head Island. Nothing scientific behind my statement except my own personal experience. Add to that how picturesque Old Town Bluffton is and you have a perfect setting for a festival event. October 15-23rd this year Bluffton will come alive with its Seafood and Arts Festival. There are events all week but on the 23rd from 10am until 4pm you get the opportunity to stroll along Calhoun Street (for free) and enjoy everything that area has to offer. Great art, great food and a beautiful setting. They are even offering sunset cruises this year as well as their very popular Iron Chef competition. Find out more here.
**Savannah Food and Wine Festival – November 7th-13th
It’s hard to call this event the “Granddaddy of them all” it just feels that way. The Savannah Food and Wine Festival is still in it’s infancy, but the reality it is has grown so quickly that it feels like it is a 20 veteran on Savannah’s food scene. The calendar of events for the week changes from year to year to keep it fresh, but of course there are a number of wine dinners on the agenda including The James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour dinner which has moved to Cohen’s Retreat this year from The Mansion on Forsyth Park. Eat It and Like It, Do Savannah and Savannah Magazine are once again working on the Thursday night Secret Savannah Speakeasy. Last year’s was great. This year will be greater. Friday night will feature a BBQ Masters event at Service Brewing. My money is on that being one of the first to sell out. Then of course, Taste of Savannah which last year was-plain and simple- quite probably the greatest food-related event this city has even seen. Yes, ever. Find out more by clicking here.
The diet starts the day after Thanksgiving. Are you hungry yet?
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