September 2006

Food, Glorious Food!

Author: Paul deVere

The catch phrase for the day is: “Come hungry!” Wonderful food and drink, live entertainment, fun stuff for the kids — what a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The Hilton Head Area Hospitality Association’s 2006 FoodFest promises all that and more Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Shelter Cove Community Park.

Now in its ninth year and designed to help open Hilton Head Island’s fall season, FoodFest will draw between 4,000 to 5,000 guests, according to Jennifer Woods, the association’s assistant director. “We’ve expanded the activities for children. We’ll have the Kid’s Zone, Yostie, the Puppet Lady and face painting. It’s a great family outing,” Woods said.

The festival is also a good way for visitors to check out the fare of 20 local restaurants. Each restaurant serves sample dishes in its version of “show and tell.” The cost of the offerings ranges between $1 and $5. The food and the restaurant displays are all part of a contest in which everyone can participate. By mid-afternoon, after all the ballots are counted, awards are presented for “My Favorite Dish”, “Most Creative Dish” and “Best Decorated Tent.”

One of the most noticeable additions to FoodFest will be its NFL theme. “That’s something new for this year,” explained interim Executive Director John Urato. “While it’s not mandatory, every restaurant will have a choice of one team to decorate its displays.”

The very popular “Server’s Race” is back, together with the “Drink-Making Contest.” The “Server’s Race” always gets a good deal of attention. Open to anyone who has worked on the wait staff in a local food and beverage establishment for at least three months, the race is definitely a matter of skill – and luck. Holding a tray with two glasses of wine, the contestant must “race” through a variety of obstacles, pass a row of friendly hecklers and avoid any spills. Based on the best time and the amount of wine still in the glasses, the winners are awarded cash prizes and the adoration of their fans.

Undoubtedly, there will be numerous “Elvis” sightings at FoodFest, thanks to the very popular Phil Urban and the TCB (“Taking Care of Business”) Band. As the festival’s featured entertainer, Urban will have guests convinced that Elvis is alive and well. His rendition of “Love Me Tender” will have everyone “All Shook Up.”

FoodFest is made possible by an all-volunteer staff, mostly from association members. “We will welcome more volunteers up to the day of the event,” Urato stated.

There is a $2 admission charge for the festival and a $2 charge for the Kid’s Zone. For more information or to sign up as a volunteer, contact the association at 843-686-4944.

  • When: Saturday, September 16
  • Time: 11am – 4pm
  • Where: Shelter Cove Community Park
  • Admission: $2

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