FEAST! by the numbers
FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace returns to the Mayo Civic Center on Saturday. The family event, filled with sampling, shopping, cooking demos, and kids’ activities, is a fun way to meet the farmers and food artisans in your own backyard. Here are a few things to know before you go.
People who’ve attended FEAST! since the first festival in 2014. Each year, you can discover the abundance of foods produced in the upper Midwest, try hundreds of local products, and learn where and how your food is made. If you’re returning for a second (or fifth) time, plenty of new flavors await you, like wild rice burgers, popped lotus seeds, and Caribbean Jerk sauce.
Entrepreneurs who’ve showcased their unique products at FEAST! From bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup to blood orange thyme-infused olive oil, the one-of-a-kind items at FEAST! make great gifts, especially with wine and hard cider now available for take-home purchase. But be sure to bring cash, as not all vendors take credit cards. And vote for your favorite exhibitor in the festival’s People’s Choice Awards for a chance to win a basket filled with local products.
Revenue generated for local food businesses at the one-day event. Buying local supports us all, as studies show that it keeps more money in an area. Locally owned businesses are linked to higher income growth and lower levels of poverty. They also create jobs, attract additional businesses (and tourists), and generate tax revenue, which helps fund public parks and trails, schools, clean streets, and safer neighborhoods.
Approximate miles vendors will drive across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to bring their goods to FEAST! 2018.
Categories of food and beverages you’ll find at FEAST! – they include confections, cheese and dairy, preserves and vinegars, snacks, bakery and grains, fresh produce, meat, sauces-dressings-seasonings, and non-alcoholic beverages. And yes, there will also be wine, craft beer, and hard cider. Ingredients used by FEAST! vendors are locally grown and sustainably sourced.
Elena Byrne is the tradeshow and communications coordinator for FEAST.
Marlene Petersen is a Rochester-area writer employed by FEAST.