The Hosts

Free Times has been Columbia, South Carolina’s alternative weekly newspaper since 1987. It’s grown from a bi-weekly source of entertainment information to a weekly paper filled with investigative journalism, political accountability, news of the weird, Rant and Rave, event calendars and many other sections that thousands of Midlands residents engage with every single week. In addition to producing Columbia’s largest and most-read weekly publication, Free Times is growing a reputation for throwing the most memorable events in the city. From the famous Best of Columbia party to panel discussions to Halloween parties and cultural events, their event lineup has grown to more than eight signature events this year.

Today, Free Times sustains a reputation for providing honest and trusted coverage of news, food, music, arts, and culture, throwing incredible events in the community and engaging an audience of diverse political views, socioeconomic statuses, ages and genders.

The Five Points Foundation is a 501(c)3 that works in conjunction with the Five Points Association to keep Five Points an integral and important part of the city of Columbia. Together, the groups have accomplished and endured many infrastructure, development and beautification projects over the years. Some of these projects include: the construction of three signature fountains, a monumental streetscaping project executed by the City of Columbia, a village-wide beautification project and creation of a master plan, the construction of a centennial plaza and many public art projects. The Five Points Foundation works with the Five Points Association to host annual events that continue to grow each year and entertain thousands of people within the city of Columbia and the state of South Carolina. From over 30 years of St. Pat’s in Five Points to the Chili Cook- Off, the calendar year is full of great opportunities for patrons to enjoy Columbia’s favorite village!


The inaugural Columbia Food & Wine Festival was nothing less than fantastic," said Mayor Benjamin. "Food has historically been a special and effective method of bringing people together. The opportunity to convene for a festival highlighting Columbia cuisine and local wines and brews was truly special, and we look froward to next year's event.

Steve Benjamin

City of Columbia

Columbia's first Food & Wine festival surpassed all of our expectations! I am excited for Columbia to showcase our world class cuisine and beverage talent with people from across the region as this event grows even larger next year.

Heyward Harvin, Esq.

Executive Advisor
Office of the Mayor

South Carolina Tourism was thrilled to be a part of the inaugural year of the Columbia Food & Wine Festival. The Palmetto State is filled with outstanding culinary offerings and with the signature event brining flavors from across the Midlands together, while also showcasing its phenomenal talent, is exactly the type of event that makes South Carolina, Just Right!

Kim Jamieson

Public Relations Manager

Advisory Committee

The CFWF Planning Committee has invited the following members of the community to serve on the 2019 Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee was created for the inaugural festival and individuals were chosen to serve because of their unique knowledge, skills and passion for Columbia’s hospitality scene.

  • Abi Snyder, BB&T & FPA board member
  • Ashley Cady, Flock & Rally
  • Charley Scruggs, Terra
  • Chaston McNeely, US Foods
  • Eva Moore, Free Times
  • Heather Curtis, Soda City Market
  • Heyward Harvin, Office of Mayor Steve Benjamin, City of Columbia
  • Holly Heaton, Experience Columbia SC & Columbia social media influencer
  • Jared Glover, SC State Museum
  • Jeff Gerber, Hilton Head Wine & Food Festival
  • Josh Rogerson, Saluda’s Restaurant
  • Kelly Glynn, Village Idiot Pizza
  • Kiki Cyrus, Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles
  • Kim Jamieson, Columbia Metropolitan Airport
  • Marcus Munse, Hotel Trundle
  • Marshall Minton, South State Bank
  • Mike Tourville, River Rat Brewery
  • Mike Easler, The Crescent Olive
  • Steve Cook, Saluda’s Restaurant & FPA board member

Planning Committee

  • Amy Beth Franks, Executive Director, Five Points Association
  • Chase Heatherly, Publisher & Ad Director, Free Times
  • Meg Senn, Events Manager, Free Times


  • Hope Roberts, Social Media & Logistics, Five Points Association
  • Scott Freedman, Business Development Manager, Free Times
  • Julia Weeks, Columbia Food & Wine Festival Intern

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