Partying with a purpose, unlike partying with a porpoise, gives back to the community and typically results in fewer confetti-filled wetsuits. Dive into a festive fundraiser with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Bacchus Bucks for eclectic eats and drinks at Bacchus Bash 2011 on Friday, April 8 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Bacchus Bash, one of central Florida’s largest street parties, is returning for its 25th anniversary with more than 60 food and beverage vendors. The event benefits the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association's Educational Trust Fund, which provides scholarships, grants, and ample warm fuzzies to Floridian hospitality students and schools. Today's deal grants you tickets (a $1 value each) redeemable for sampling, sipping, and sharing savory samples and specialty drinks from various appetizing locales (options range in price from $2 to $5).
The vendor list includes the culinary offerings of Bar Harbor Seafood, Crave Restaurant, and Orlando Brewing rubbing tabletop elbows with names including Walt Disney World, Loews Hotels, and Embassy Suites. Free live entertainment includes Think Big!, Howl at the Moon, and Alan Byrd providing tuneful counterpoints to rhythmic chewing.
The 2009 Bacchus Bash was featured on My Fox Orlando.
Bacchus Bash 2012
In the outdoor mall, tables and stages stand in a ring under the open sky or beneath white tents. People drift around the circle, clutching cocktails in plastic cups and eye-catching Vietnamese sandwiches on their paper plates as they spy more must-grab food-and-drink samples from the area's best hotels. Though it started 26 years ago, Bacchus Bash hasn't drifted from its original aim to let the populace revel in the offerings of local hospitality establishments while funding high-school and university students studying in the industry. Since its inception, the festival has grown from 20 vendor booths with one entertainment stage to encompass 100 booths helmed by upscale local restaurants and bars alongside six entertainment stages.
Among the must-experience flavors of the fest is the tongue-wilting bananas foster by Chef Jean Louis of the Royal Plaza Hotel, which has won Best Dessert at the fest for the past 10 years. Other restaurants' teams showcase flavors such as American and Vietnamese barbecue, which are up for fest awards such as Best Original Drink and Most Interactive Booth. Live music from talents that include local barefoot folk singer Alan Byrd and country-western rock quintet Think Big streams from the entertainment stages, as well as the dueling ivories of two pianists from Howl at the Moon. The organizing party, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Foundation, further immerses guests in its services with a travel, tourism, and dining silent auction, offering up more than 200 prizes to further raise funds for its students.