Food, wine fest benefits orchestra, youth endeavors

Special to The Log

The Northwest Florida Symphony Guild’s popular annual food and wine tasting festival, “A Symphony of Taste,” will be held from 1-4 p.m. Feb. 23 on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College in the college’s new Student Services Center.

Food samples from a variety of area restaurants will be available, accompanied by more than 50 different wines from around the world, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a silent auction. Musical entertainment will be provided by popular jazz pianist Sean Dietrich.

The longstanding annual event, now in its 23rd year, raises funds for the regional orchestra as well as youth music education programs that serve thousands of Okaloosa and Walton County students.

“A Symphony of Taste” tickets are available by phone or web through the college’s Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office for $35 at 850-729-6000 or Tickets may also be purchased at participating merchants in Niceville at Bayou Books, in Fort Walton Beach at Playground Music, Vandergriff Jewelers, and the Magnolia Grill, and in Destin/South Walton at the Groovy Grouper Grill in Destin Commons and at Chan’s Wine World locations in Grand Boulevard and Destin. Tickets are also available at the door the day of the event for $40 each.

A variety of area restaurant partners will provide food sampling selections, including Destin’s La Famiglia, Groovy Grouper Grill, McGuire’s Irish Pub, Olive Oil Balsamic Tastings, and Miramar Beach’s Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar.

The “Symphony of Taste Food & Wine Festival” and the accompanying silent auction serve as the Symphony Guild’s most significant annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the event provide underwriting for the professional Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra as well as funding for the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Junior Orchestra, the NFSO’s annual performances for all fifth grade pupils in Okaloosa and Walton County, a prestigious annual Concerto Competition for young musicians, the NFSO’s Stars of Tomorrow Concerts, music scholarships, and more.