A Symphony of Taste, the annual international food and wine tasting festival supporting the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra’s youth programs, has doubled the floor space of last year’s event, nearly doubled the number of restaurants serving food and has added a photo booth and wine ring toss game for its Mardi Gras celebration.

Scheduled from 2-5 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Student Services Center of Northwest Florida State College, the event will also include a wide variety of items for its silent auction and feature music by a smooth jazz trio.

Guests will be greeted with a glass of champagne or non-alcoholic sparkling cider and will be offered a sample of up to 40 international wines as well as featured food items from area restaurants.

Eighteen restaurants, chefs, wine bars and a craft brewer will fill the two large rooms at the college’s student services center, far exceeding the number of participants of the past five years. Among the new restaurants this year are One 20-A Modern Bistro, Bonefish Grill, Food for You, Half Shell Oyster House, Sake Asian Bistro and Toast Wine Bar.

Returning favorites include the Aegean Greek Restaurant, Café Bienville, Chef Daniel Soto, Emerald Coast Olive Oil, Magnolia Grill, Olive Garden, Peppers Mexican Cantina, Red Lobster, Third Planet Brewery, Tisano’s Garlic Grill and Twisted Grape Wine Bar.

In addition, attendees can have a picture taken of them in Mardi Gras garb at the photo booth and snare a high-value quality bottle of wine in the newly added wine bottle ring toss game.

The silent auction will offer the opportunity to bid on several golf packages, a variety of restaurant gift cards, jewelry, quality art items and gift baskets. Some of the more popular silent auction items include the opportunity to conduct the Symphony Orchestra at the Memorial Day and Christmas concerts, a wine dinner for six at Fleming’s Steakhouse or one of several spa treatments.

Sponsored by the Northwest Florida Symphony Guild, the event raises funds to support the symphony’s youth programs, such as the fifth grade concerts and the annual John Leatherwood Concerto Competition.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door and can be purchased at www.MattieKellyArtsCenter.org, 850-729-6000 or at Bayou Books or Café Bienville in Niceville, Beach Wine Merchants and Liquors in Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Magnolia Grill in Fort Walton Beach and Twisted Grape Wine Bar in Shalimar.