Plano Food and Wine Festival at Shops at Willow Bend Oct. 6

Breathe in deeply – can you smell it? That spicy, sweet and irresistible aroma in the air is all part of the inaugural Plano Food and Wine Festival, presented by Maggiano’s Little Italy!  If there is one thing we know about Corridor residents, it’s that they love delicious food. This free festival, taking place from noon-4 p.m. October 6 at The Shops at Willow Bend, will allow you to try a wide variety of food and wines while enjoying live entertainment and family-friendly activities at the same time!

For this day only, you will have the opportunity to try from a selection of more than 100 wines, food from 20 different restaurants and food trucks, beer and cocktails and more. In between bites and sips, listen to local artists perform live, watch fascinating culinary demonstrations, shop in the more than 60 boutiques and stores, and take the kids to a special play zone designed for them. There is definitely something for everyone at this event!
“The Plano Food and Wine Festival is a celebration of food and community – truly the first of its kind in North Dallas,” said event organizer Lauren Stephan in a recent press release. “Plano residents and visitors will be able to enjoy fantastic food and drink selections, live entertainment, games, cooking demos and more, all in a great atmosphere at The Shops at Willow Bend.”
At the Culinary Experience Tent, presented by Sprouts Farmers Market, will present many interesting (and mouth-watering!) demonstrations throughout the event. These include how to make fresh pasta from Maggiano’s, how eggs can transform your cocktails and more. In addition, attendees can participate in grape stomping competitions and listen to live music sets, including Layne Elizabeth from noon-12:30 p.m., Maylee Thomas Band from 12:45-1:45 p.m., The Red Wine Band from 2-3 p.m. and The Moving Colors Band from 3-4 p.m. In between sets, watch 15-minute performances from North Texas Performing Arts.
The NTPA is “dedicated to developing the character of youth through quality performing arts education and family entertainment,” according to its website. Its flagship theatre is the Plano Children’s Theatre, which opened in 1991 and has welcomed more than 2,000,000 students, patrons, members and sponsors. NTPA now has locations in McKinney, Frisco, Fairview Town Center and inside The Shops at Willow Bend. It’s mission is “to provide arts to youth, ages 4-18, which promote life-long learning, creativity, communication skills, teamwork, integrity and good citizenship.”
Although the Plano Food and Wine Festival is free to attend, there are many food and wine tasting packages available, with a portion of all proceeds benefitting NTPA. These packages range from $20-70 and can be purchased online.
Options include: Wine Tasting Ticket & Signature Event Glass, which includes 10 wine tasting tickets and the event wine glass for $20; the VIP Wine Tasting Pass, which includes 20 wine tasting tickets, a signature event glass, a VIP festival swag bag and access to skip the event entrance line for $55; the Food Tasting Pass, which includes four tickets that can be used at any restaurant or food truck for $20; and the VIP Wine & Food Pass, which includes 20 wine tasting tickets, an event wine glass, four food tasting tickets, a VIP swag bag and access to skip the entrance line for $75. Individual food tickets are just $5 each.
The Plano Food and Wine Festival is a celebration of local food, drinks and community. This inaugural event is part of the grand opening celebration weekend of The District, which is the re-imagined dining destination at The Shops at Willow Bend.
The District will host its Grand Opening Chefs’ Tasting from 5-10 p.m. Oct. 4, which will include a festive cocktail reception, a dining experience prepared by the five new restaurants – Mexican Bar Co. Cocina, Whistle Britches, Knife, Terra Mediterranean and Ascension – and a finale with desserts, coffee and music by the Georgia Bridgewater Orchestra.
“Willow Bend couldn’t be more excited to host the first-ever Plano Food and Wine Festival,” added Amy Medford, marketing director at The Shops at Willow Bend, in the press release. “Between the grand opening of The District on October 4 and and this festival on October 6, we can’t wait to spend the weekend celebrating all the fabulous dining options Plano has to offer.”
The Shops at Willow Bend is located at 6121 W. Park Blvd. in Plano. It offers a blend of Texas-style ambiance and world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. Willow Bend’s two levels feature more than 125 stores and restaurants, including Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Macy’s Apple, Bose, California Pizza Kitchen and The Crayola Experience.
This event will be an amazing opportunity to try new foods, drink delicious wine, bond with the community, and learn more about all The Shops at Willow Bend has to offer – all in one place! All you have to do is invite friends and family to go along, buy your food and wine tickets in advance to avoid the lines, and show up hungry for excitement (and food, of course!).

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