Feast Portland cancels for 2020: How can you fill the gap?

Feast, Portland’s famous food festival, won’t take place this year, but founders and locals are looking forward to 2021.

Like so many other events, Feast has become next to impossible to imagine in this time of social distancing. As a result of a recent order by the governor, organizers of the annual event have made the sad decision to forego the 2020 celebrations.

Feast celebrates the hospitality industry and brings together locals and visitors, alike. There’s a massive uptick in travel to the area for this event and it brings in tons of support for the industry. Chefs come from all over to show their skills and learn new tricks of the trade. And eaters come to try everything out.

No word yet on if the founders of Feast will make a plan to do a compromise event of any kind, like one Texas restaurant practices to keep its patrons in good spirits amidst their own festival cancellation.

In addition, just following the announcement from Feast, a judge ruled that the governor’s orders might not last. Of course, immediately after that, the judge’s ruling was ruled out. So it’s a back and forth that no one can really predict.

At the moment, the official word is that the Feast lovers will have to wait it out for what promises to be a mega reunion in 2021. But with so much good coming from the event over its 8-year stretch, it’s hard to imagine they won’t get creative in the meantime. This is where you could play a part.

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The seed of Feast Portland was planted in 2011 in a coffee shop in NW Portland. Since then, that idea has become a community within the food, beverage and hospitality world, guided by a core belief that food is a powerful medium that brings people together in real and inspiring ways. Gathering together is not just an elemental human need: It’s what we live for every September. * While it became clear to us in early March that there was no clear path to Feast in 2020, we still held a sliver of hope that our world would return to normal, and that we’d have the occasion to gather together in September. But the recent announcement by Governor Brown to ban large public gatherings through September was the final word on what we already knew in our hearts: Feast Portland as we've known it will not happen this September. * We support the governor’s decision wholeheartedly and we respect the science on which it was made. The current crisis is unlike any in our lifetime, and we stand in solidarity with our friends locally and worldwide in the food, beverage, events and hospitality industries who have been hit the hardest. These are the people that feed us, inspire us, welcome us into their homes and give us a reason and reminder to stand up and cheer. We love you and appreciate all that you do. * As all on our planet would agree, the thought that daily life would alter so much in such a short time was unthinkable just three months ago. While a festival with 20,000 guests isn't possible in 2020, we hope to do something to engage and support our community this summer or fall. So please stay tuned to our social media and marketing channels, which remain active. * We strongly believe in the power of coming together, and we know that we will have reason to gather again someday soon. But until then, it’s more important that we stay safe, support our local businesses in every way we can and work together to come out of this stronger and more inspired than ever before. * We will Feast again.

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Feast raises a massive amount of funding for two organizations. Partners For a Hunger-Free Oregon uses their funds to offer meals for kids out of school, and to help people find resources to continue to help themselves beyond what they can offer.

The second group, Urban Gleaners, currently operates from over 40 sites across Portland. If you know anything about food banks and donation, you are well aware that out of date items and fresh foods going bad are both overwhelming issues. Urban Gleaners puts a focus on making sure that doesn’t happen by getting it out there in time.

Both of these wonderful organizations are going to take a hit as a result of this loss. If you have a penny to share, or you’re local and want to organize a physical donation, please consider reaching out to offer a hand!

As for Feast, the show will go on. It’s just going to be a much longer planning period for the 2021 event. Looking at it through those lenses, we can expect that the upcoming revival of the festival will be (another) one for the books!

Next: 15 fun foodie-approved items to make staying in spicy

Do you know other event cancellations like these that are leaving a gap in the community? Let us know in the comments below!

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