Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Fall for Greenville
There is no doubt about it; October in the Upstate is an incredibly busy month! The Spartanburg International Festival and Balloons over Anderson are behind us, as is the annual Fall for Greenville, which was this weekend. However now we can look forward to the Halloween festivities! My boys are especially anticipating Boo in the Zoo, Greenville Zoo’s trick-or-treating event, and Green Halloween, Roper Mountain Science Center’s autumn festival. Boo in the Zoo will be taking place the next two weekends, Friday through Saturday (for more information click here), and we will also be checking out a few other Halloween events here in the Upstate. I’m tempted to drag everyone out to the Upper SC State Fair in Pickens, but it will be a very busy weekend, as Wings of Freedom is also taking place – three rare WWII planes are arriving in Greenville on the 18th and will be available for a walk through the entire weekend at the downtown airport.
Back to Fall for Greenville, the annual festival which could be compared to Taste of Chicago, with 40 local restaurants offering a sample of their fares. Visitors buy “taste tickets” which are then used to purchase food and drink, as well as pay for rides in the kids’ zone. On average food menu items cost between $3 to $4 and beers range from a little over $3 for draft beer to $5 for a craft beer. I was a little disappointed in my choices this year, as it seemed that the lines were longer, the food colder, the quantities smaller and the offerings more bland than previous years. The signature lobster mac n’ cheese from 21 East was disappointing, the flat iron BBQ pork taco from Gringos left me feeling queasy, and the she-crab soup from Larkin’s on the River was barely a taste. I’ve been hoping to get a chance to try all three restaurants as they’ve gotten rave reviews, but the festival left me with the feeling that they weren’t really trying. The chicken souvlaki from Never on Sunday Greek Restaurant was ok (a bigger hit with the boys than me), as were the garlic shrimp from Passerelle Bistro and the city beer cheese & chicken nachos from City Range. My favorites this year were the Malaysian chicken satay w/ peanut sauce from Yap! and the Nose Dive falafel – motivation for us to try to get there for date night sooner than later. Dessert was a no-brainer, I knew we couldn’t go wrong with the fried Oreos from Runway Café (as I order them every time we eat there after playing in the new playground) and the chocolate velvet gelato from Luna Rosa Gelato Café was quickly polished off by Lauris with little assistance from dad.
Perhaps the best use of our tickets was the merry-go-ride; the boys enjoyed taking a spin, we didn’t have to wait in line and the enjoyment lasted for more than a few minutes. I appreciate the effort Greenville made this year in regards to the parking situation (a free park and ride was provided to help alleviate congestion), but we just wanted to take the trolley, and not a single festival worker, nor the trolley website or info-number could tell us if the trolley was running, and if yes, where it had been rerouted. The trash situation was also better than previous years, and with six stages spread out over the 7-block stretch of Main Street bands were not competing with one another, yet there was always something going on. Final verdict; Fall for Greenville is a great idea, a fun festival for kids and adults alike, but the crowds can be challenging with two kids. Next year I’ll remember to take along more water (temperatures were probably in the 80s), we will set a budget as it is easy to overspend, and I hope to walk to the festival again: no hassle with parking, great way to walk off those calories and a great way to enjoy autumn in Greenville.
Last year’s post is here – Fall(ing) for Greenville