Good Food, Mad City: Charlotte Events in May

By Stephanie Hoyt

April 28, 2017 (Updated May 8)

May is fast upon us and with it not only flowers arrive, but also many food and drink events happening throughout Charlotte. The warmer weather inspires many opportunities for outdoor dining as well as thirst-quenching beer events. From the Cheerwine Centennial Celebration to Charlotte Symphony on Tap, there will be an event to pique the interest of everyone this month. Check out these and more in this edition of Good Food, Mad City.

Cheerwine Centennial Celebration
May 20 North Main St. in Salisbury, NC – Free

Acoustic Syndicate at Cheerwine Centennial Celebration on May 20 in Salisbury

2017 marks the 100th birthday of Cheerwine and its hometown of Salisbury is celebrating the milestone with all things Carolina. There will be a People’s Choice BBQ competition from 12-2:00 p.m. facing off some of the best in the Carolinas including Hog Heaven, NC Ribs on Wheels, Rockytop BBQ, Boone’s BBQ, Smoke & Go and Sonny’s BBQ. There will be no shortage of food with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Bojangles, Biscuitville, Fatz Cafe, Cackalacky and King of Pops all in attendance. For beer drinkers, a Biergarten will be created featuring Carolina craft beer from Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and New Sarum Brewing Company. This is the perfect event for the whole family with a kids’ zone featuring magicians, slides, games, a climbing wall and more. Enjoy the live music from Charlotte natives, Time Sawyer, as well as Gyth Ridgon, Empire Bass, Acoustic Syndicate and Room Full of Blues. It should go without saying; there will be free Cheerwine to sample and commemorative koozies for all in attendance.

The Fresh Expo
May 20 at Symphony Park – $9.43+

The Fresh Expo is back this May raising awareness, educating about healthy living and building sustainable communities. The expo will introduce health-conscious organizations to attendees and showcase innovative leaders who will explain how they are changing Charlotte in healthier and greener ways. Learn more about health and wellness in Charlotte by tasting, touching, seeing, smelling and experiencing offerings of vendors from around the city. While you learn important ways to improve your health, you will also be supporting the Fresh Foundation’s special cancer initiative.

Secret Gardens of Fourth Ward Tour 2017
May 20-21 in Fourth Ward – $15-20

Did you know you can tour the private gardens, courtyards and rooftop terraces with Friends of Fourth Ward while enjoying great food and drinks? For two days, attendees are welcomed throughout Center City to secret gardens rarely opened to the public and in full bloom. In addition to the gardens, the tour highlights public art, historic homes and the best restaurants situated along the tour route in Fourth Ward. With your purchase of a ticket for Secret Gardens of Fourth Ward Tour, there will be complimentary food and beverage tastings offered by Poplar Tapas, Doc Porter’s Distillery, the Wooden Vine, The Asbury, Potts Chocolates and more. Also, Sea Level NC has $1 oysters and there will even be free horse-drawn carriage rides throughout the neighborhood. This is truly a unique event this springtime and a great opportunity to sample the fare of some popular eateries in the city.

Festa Italiana Charlotte 2017
May 21 at Gateway Village – $85

The annual St. Anthony Festa Italiana returns for its 12th year to celebrate Italian cuisine, wine, beer, music, including Italian Opera, and art. While enjoying and learning more about Italian culture, attendees will also be supporting the St. Anthony Foundation of Charlotte, a foundation supporting organizations that assist people with mental and physical challenges. The festival will take place at Gateway Village and for the price of one admission donation, you will enjoy all-you-can eat and drink of offerings from some of the best chefs of Italian cuisine in the region. Menu items will include appetizers seafood and vegetable risottos, gelato, cannolis, pastries, Italian Prosecco and wine, Peroni beer and more.

International Symposium on Bread

May 22- 23 at Johnson and Wales University – $130

In this two- day seminar, award winning author and baker, Peter Reinhart, will be discussing all things bread with the help of some of the best chefs and food writers from throughout the country. A Johnson and Wales faculty member since 2003, Chef Reinhart’s discourse will cover current industry and consumer trends, advances in technology and technique and the factors that shape the bread business. Impressive speakers will include Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery, Francisco Migoya from Food Lab and a co-author of Modernist Bread, Glenn Roberts, founder of Anson Mills, William Rubel, noted author and bread historian, and Tom Gumpel, Director of Bread Innovation for Panera. This conference will be in-depth and certainly stimulate an intellectual discussion concerning one of our most important food staples: bread.

“Biscuits + Beer” with Chef Greg Collier and Sycamore Brewing
May 23 at The Asbury (call for pricing) 

Join Chef Greg Collier and Sarah and Justin Brigham, from Sycamore Brewing, for this month’s joint dinner at The Asbury. Greg and Subrina Collier are the owners of the Yolk Cafe in Rock Hill and Greg is often referred to as the “King of Breakfast.” The Asbury’s collaborative series strives to bring together local chefs, farmers and thinkers together with Executive Chef Matthew Krenz to create an informative and interactive multi-course dinner each month, with May’s focusing on breakfast menu items and Sycamore beer.

Do you have a food or drink event that should be included in this list? Send us details with the title Good Food, Mad City at!

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