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If restaurants are struggling amid COVID-19, food events are decimated. Charleston Wine + Food has canceled its March 2021 event, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has reorganized as a “reimagined” festival with a mix of small in-person dinners and virtual classes and the lauded FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen canceled this year, too.

Here’s what COVID-19 has meant for some of the Upstate’s most popular food events and how each has changed this year.

euphoria: Redesigned

Date: Sept. 17- 20

Cost: $40 – $400

Good to know: Euphoria is implementing a “mask as you move” policy, which means masks are required to be worn when you are not at your table.

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The four-day celebration of food, wine, and music has been growing and shifting over the past 14 years, but this year might prove the biggest shift, says euphoria executive director, Morgan Allen. Now, in its 15th year, euphoria will retract a bit but grow in other ways.

Expect fewer large events. In fact, there are none of the signature 500-people gatherings where guests stroll through hundreds of food and drink stations from chefs and purveyors from across the country.

This also means the traditional and popular Sunday Supper, while still offering delicious food and drinks, will have a different feel. No communal tables or family-style service.

This year there are instead a series of intimate lunches and dinners, designed to limit the number of people, and to manage distancing guidelines and safety.

There are classrooms as well, a few hands-on that will have participants at their own stations, six feet from another.

Where euphoria has built a name largely on bringing big-name and up and coming chefs and musicians to town, this year the festival turns more local, with nearly all the talent coming from the Upstate and South Carolina. Just five of the 36 chefs will be coming from out of town. While the lineup does include two Michelin starred chefs, Allen is excited about the more inward focus this year.

“People reached out and said we don’t want a watered-down version of euphoria and we are in no way looking at this as a watered down version,” she said. “We are looking at this as an opportunity to connect with our community, to connect with this industry.”

Greenville News