Crave Culinary Festival Changes Dates to 2011

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Almost nonchalantly, the message went out on Twitter yesterday afternoon: "Crave AZ announced today that it is moving its scheduled lineup of events from late October to the weekend of January 28-30, 2011."

But that's huge news, actually. A high-profile culinary event at SouthBridge in Scottsdale is pushing out its October events to early next year?

Indeed, it's true, says PR representative Angie Miller.


"The board made a decision based on some new large sponsors who are getting involved," she says, indicating that the October timing of Crave wouldn't work for these potential players. Since they are not contracted yet, Miller cannot name the sponsors.

However, she elaborates on the timing.

"Crave has always been designed to attract national attention, and it's better timing to have it in-season than during the shoulder season," she says.

Fair enough. If that's the case, though, it's interesting that such a strategy wasn't considered before. This will be the third event for Crave, if you count Eats3 (the original name of the festival when it debuted in 2008) as the first one.

This afternoon, a press release just landed in my inbox, detailing all of the above. As a sort of nod to the original October date, a "pre-party" will still be held on October 23.

The January lineup includes more than 40 local, independent restaurants and 200-plus wineries. There will be Elixirs at the Loft - a back-to-back wine tasting and Top Bar Chef mix-off - on January 28, a VIP reserve wine tasting called Decanted on the 29th, and the afternoon Grand Tasting on the 30th.

Tickets are on sale now at www.cravearizona.com

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