FORT WORTH, Texas — It's a foodie paradise of flavors and drinks.
The crowds are back. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival is in full swing -- and it’s drawing large crowds.
Festival co-founder Russell Kirkpatrick told WFAA that this year, people have begun lining up at the entrance earlier than ever before.
“We’ve waited two years for this party,” Kirkpatrick said. “I think people are just ready to get out and have a great time and support a great cause.”
Opening night on Thursday was sold out, and so is Saturday.
On Friday, more than 1,000 people attended the event. This year, more than 100 restaurant owners and chefs are participating in the four-day festival.
Q Pharms was among the attendees.
“I love it all,” Pharms said.
Fort Worth resident Terry Goin attended the festival on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s just so nice to be out and about with all of this great food and everything,” Goin said.
For restaurant owners like Lindsey Lawing, the owner of Sweet Lucy’s Pies, the festival is an opportunity to advertise her pop-up shop and attract new customers.
“Just to be a part of all of this again is super special,” Lawing said.
COVID-19 put her business in jeopardy. At one point, she closed her business for six weeks as she tried to navigate how her shop would move forward.
Then, the Fort Worth Food and Wine Foundation stepped in and became a lifeline for her small business. The non-profit provided her with money from its employer emergency relief fund during the pandemic.
To this day, the foundation has donated $115,000 dollars to Fort Worth restaurant employees, which has helped many stay afloat.
“We’re here two years later full-circle, so the festival gave back to us in the beginning of the pandemic, and we’re here to give back to the festival,” said Lawing.
The festival fun lasts until Sunday, and it’s serving up what many have missed most: building community through food.
For tickets and more information, click here.