Wine and dine at Busch Gardens

On March 11, 2016

With Spring Break only a weekend away, there may be no better way to start the vacation than with a trip to Busch Gardens’ Food and Wine Festival.

The festival began at the Williamsburg, VA location in 2013 and was implemented in Tampa last year. Having started Saturday, the festival will continue each weekend until April 24.  Enjoy freshly prepared foods, fine wines, live entertainment, family games and artistic topiary pieces throughout this event.

Eleven food stands — called cabins — are located through Gwazi Park during the festival. There are also two new additions to the food cabins: Artisan Eats, which provides dishes like Pan-Seared Creole Shrimp and Duck Fat Truffle-infused Fries, and the Garden Gate Cafe, which serves Pheasant Sausage Flatbread and a Tuna Poke. The cabins also provide vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

In addition to the food cabins, tasting tents offer over 65 different selections of wine, 50 craft beers and a variety of cocktails.

The festival also includes a variety of musical guests, including The All-American Rejects, Meat Loaf, Jordin Sparks and Andy Grammer. Sunday’s live concert features rock band O.A.R. and will begin at 6 p.m. in Gwazi Park. However, this is not the only musical entertainment that will be available.

Live music will play every few hours at the Garden Gate Cafe, and the ‘40s-inspired jazz band You Had Me at Merlot will play throughout the day at the Gwazi Field Pavilion. The band covers classic rock and current songs in its own unique style.

Fantastic food demonstrations will take place in Xcursions and the Bird Gardens from noon to 6 p.m., along with ice sculpting at 7:30 p.m. in Gwazi Plaza on select nights.

Standard ticket prices start at $79, and you have the option to upgrade your package in order to access additional perks, such as food and wine samplers and priority event seating. The festival will be open between noon-9 p.m.

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