Savannah Food, Wine Festival canceled, again

City special permit issue restrictions lead to festival cancellation

Festival goers at a previous year’s Food and Wine festival enjoy the diverse pairings and crowd setting.
For the second year in a row, The Savannah Food & Wine Festival announces its cancellation of the 2021 festival, scheduled for November 8-14.

According to the founder, The Savannah Food and Wine Festival is a week-long celebration of food and drink with celebrity guest chefs, local chefs and wines, spirits and beers from around the world. The festival’s signature events are tasting events, dinners and Master Classes, but this will not occur for the second year.

“Last year was canceled due to COVID-19; the festival has been canceled this year due to the City of Savannah’s not issuing special event permits for gatherings of more than 100 people,” said Festival Founder and Director Jan Gourley. Gourley speaks about the local impact of canceling the festival.

“There are a lot of out-of-town visitors each year for the festival, primarily Friday-Sunday,” Gourley said. “The guest profiles are a good mix of locals, drive market and fly market visitors. The festival was responsible for over $8 million dollars in economic impact in 2019 for the City of Savannah, its hotels, restaurants and shops - new spending for visitor accommodations, dining, shopping, etc.,” Gourley said. “There will certainly be a void to fill without the festival, but there is also a tremendous amount of pent up demand for travel this fall, nationally and internationally.”

When asked what the Savannah Food and Wine Festival will do next, Gourley said, they will plan for 2022!

Festival organizers say full ticket refunds are now being issued for all 2020 ticket purchasers, for those ticket purchasers who opted to credit their 2020 tickets to the 2021 Savannah Food & Wine Festival. Full sponsorship credits are also currently being issued. No dates are currently being planned for the 2022 festival and no tickets or sponsorships will be credited for 2022.

Contact the Tourism Leadership Council for all ticket and sponsorship refunds at 24 Drayton St., Suite 630, by phone at 912-232-1223 or email at

About The Author

Brandy Simpkins

Brandy Simpkins is a born and raised Savannahian and an alumna of Savannah Savannah State University where she received her B.A. in English Language & Literature. Simpkins enjoys writing more than anything else in the world. She is a curious journalist, an astute essayist, and captivating spoken-word artist...
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