Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival returns Friday

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Busch Gardens' fourth annual Food & Wine Festival kicks off this weekend. (Courtesy Busch Gardens)
Busch Gardens’ fourth-annual Food & Wine Festival kicks off this weekend. (Photo of courtesy Busch Gardens)

Calling all foodies: Busch Gardens is celebrating Memorial Day weekend by kicking off its fourth-annual Food & Wine Festival.

The festival  begin Friday and with run throughout the holiday weekend,; it will return to the park each weekend through June 26.

As in past years, the Food & Wine Festival will feature exotic cuisine not normally served at the park, plus wines, beers and other alcoholic beverages from around the world.

Two new types of cuisine — Hawaiian and Virginian, both of which diverge from the park’s typically European-centric offerings — are joining this year’s line-up of 14 food kiosks.

The new booths were selected by fans through a poll conducted on the park’s Facebook page. The two American cuisine options beat out Argentinian, Indian and other food choices in the poll.

Patrons of the Hawaiian booth will be able enjoy huli huli chicken, tuna poke and sliders featuring the Islands’ signature meat, spam.

Tourists and locals alike also can enjoy she-crab soup, pork rinds with an assortment of dips, and a tasting of Smithfield hams at the new Virginia booth.

In addition to the two new food kiosks, the park will debut an Argentinian wine-tasting booth.

These new additions join a lineup of established park favorites that includes food and beverages from Asia, Germany, Italy, France, the American Southwest, the Caribbean, Canada, New Orleans, Greece, Ireland and Spain.

For those who enjoy a show with their dinner, food artisans will be stationed throughout the park whipping up fantastical food sculptures and works of art. And every Friday night live bands will be featured in the park’s Oktoberfest village.

Guests looking for some quiet ambiance can once again take to the Rhine River aboard a separately ticket wine-tasting cruise.

With so much to sample, park visitors looking to get the most bang for their buck can purchase the Food & Wine Festival Sampler, which allows them to mix and match 10 entrees or dessert dishes from any of the festival kiosks for $35.

Those with especially hearty appetites can upgrade to the Deluxe Sampler, which includes any 15 menu items for $50 more.

Finally, the Wine Tasting Trio allows guests to experience any three of the park’s five wine-tasting experiences for $29.95.

To view the complete line-up of menus and purchase samplers or tasting packages click here. For park hours and ticket information click here.