There was never any doubt that euphoria, Greenville’s annual food, wine and music festival, would be held this year.
The only question was: How to pull if off?
“It was definitely a lengthy process,” said Morgan Allen, euphoria executive director. “Our plans changed about 7,000 times.”
Now event organizers have officially announced updated plans for the 15th anniversary of euphoria, presented this year by Lexus, which will be held Sept. 17-20. The new plans include a scaled-back version of the event, with health and safety at the forefront of its design.
Instead of the larger events of years past, which typically drew upward of 1,200 people at one time, this year’s festival will host multiple smaller gatherings. Lunches, guest chef dinners and classrooms will be the focus, allowing for social distancing and other safety measures, according to Allen.
“This year will look and feel very different than what we originally planned,” she said. “The good news is, the festival will go on. It will just be in a very limited capacity. We are a community event, and our community needs us now more than ever.”
The focus this year will be geared toward South Carolina-grown products, with Sunday Supper, the laid back Southern meal that serves as the event’s grand finale, once again featuring a menu crafted by the South Carolina Chef Ambassadors.
“Although it’s something we always focus on, I think this year it’s even more important to encourage people to eat local, buy local and just support these local independent restaurants,” Allen said.
Area restaurants will host guest chefs for seated, multicourse lunches and dinners, with euphoria classroom topics covering a gamut of topics, including beer and wine, guacamole and an intimate’s chef’s table.
Participating restaurants include Stella’s Southern Brasserie, Oak Hill Cafe, Restaurant 17, Topsoil Kitchen and Market, Avenue, Jianna, Soby’s and the Loft at Soby’s, among others, in addition to the Residence Inn. Several other local restaurants and establishments are also expected to host fringe events.
Allen said the decision was made to use restaurants as hosting locations due to their experience operating under the new safety guidelines already.
“It’s just like making a reservation to a dinner on any other night,” Allen said. “Knowing that these restaurants have been doing this for months, we felt that all the proper protocols would be in place.”
Attendees will purchase a ticket ahead of time and will be in assigned seats within their group only. All CDC and DHEC guidelines will be observed, including social distancing and masks whenever entering, exiting or moving around the establishment.