Raleigh, N.C. — The Thrive NC food festival, planned for May in downtown Raleigh, has been canceled.
Organizers announced Tuesday that the festival, presented by Blue Cross NC, will not happen this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will resume in 2021.
Those who purchased tickets will have the option to get a full refund or donate their ticket fee to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. Blue Cross NC will match every dollar donated by ticket purchasers.
Blue Cross NC is also donating $100,000 of Thrive NC funding to be split among the local nonprofits TABLE, Farmer Foodshare, Urban Ministries of Wake County and Urban Ministries of Durham. The four nonprofits were supposed to be receiving a portion of ticket sales.
Thrive NC, which held its inaugural festival in 2018, was developed to help raise awareness about food insecurity in the Triangle, where more than 1.5 million North Carolinians struggle with hunger on a daily basis.
In its first two years, the event has involved award-winning chefs including Ashley Christensen and Vivian Howard. Christensen was set to return this year to host the cooking demo stage on both nights.
Each night included a food festival with more than 65 local restaurants and beverage purveyors, live entertainment, chef demonstrations and music.