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Savor the flavors of ‘Carowinds’ Taste of the Season: An Outdoor Holiday Food Festival’

by Susan and Simon Veness

Festive foods, cheery cocktails, dazzling décor, and the sounds of the season are hallmarks of Carowinds’ Taste of the Season outdoor holiday dining experience, with a sleigh-full of safety enhancements in place for making merry memories.

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Don your most hilariously festive or downright ugly Christmas sweater or vest, add a matching or contrasting face mask, and kick off the Yuletide season at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, N.C., during the Taste of the Season: An Outdoor Holiday Food Festival event.

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Live entertainment and gorgeous holiday décor set the tone for this food-centric festival, with plenty for the whole family to enjoy. Discover nine candy stations along the Rockin’ Around the Reindeer Treat Trail, featuring touchless candy delivery (all treats are individually wrapped to meet current safety protocols); do a “holiday hustle” at a rollicking dance party; take in a live show; and let the foodie in you shine with samplings from 13 tasting locations around the park.

There are 30 samples to choose from, starting with 18 savory selections. Revel in uniquely Southern tastes such as seafood stuffed hushpuppies, sweet battered shrimp, baked collard tart, Sunday best shrimp & grits, Santa’s Southern poutine, and Mama Claus’s biscuits and gravy. More traditional offerings include the holiday drumstick, merry berry turkey sandwich, and Deck the Brussels (sprouts).

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The best way to make the most of it is with a 6- or 9-item Tasting Card, available online or at any of the food tasting locations. Or save $10 by purchasing the all-in-one Admission, Tasting Card, and Parking Bundle, available online.

Once you’ve digested, 18 of the park’s attractions will be open during the event (take note, Ripcord has an added fee). You can even try your hand at holiday-inspired games at Santa’s Game Station and Tinsel Town Games, choose the perfect gift for friends and family at any of several specialty holiday shops, take a selfie with Santa, test your game show knowledge, and go on a digital scavenger hunt.

Make a weekend getaway of it with a Holly Jolly Package, available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Nov. 21 – Dec. 20. Reservations are now available for Carowinds Camp Wilderness or SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Charlotte, at Carowinds.

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Park admission is required for this limited-capacity event, and date-specific reservations are also required. For the full list of COVID-19 safety measures and guest requirements, see Carowinds’ park updates.

To purchase tickets and tasting cards, and to make a park reservation, visit Carowinds.com/tickets or CarowindsTasteoftheSeason.

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