Following up on the ravishing success of their Bacon Festival this past August, Big Bite Events returned this past weekend with a brand new event, the 1st Annual Big Bite Sugar Rush. Although not as large as the aforementioned festival, this dessert festival still managed to draw enough attention that all the attendees and vendors consistently had something to do. Taking place in one of the hangars at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, this festival pulled together dozens of some of Southern California’s top dessert businesses ranging from pastry chefs to caterers to retailers and more. About half of the vendors delivered copious amounts of sweet samples for visitors to munch on as the visitors strolled up and down the aisles gazing upon all the sugary goodness. To keep the attendees occupied throughout the day, some demos and seminars took place for those who desire to learn about creating desserts at home. To spread out the amount of attendees, Big Bite Events held this dessert festival across two days.
Anyone who did research on this event may discover an angry mob of reviews of this organization’s historical events. Excluding the last bacon festival, at least for the past three years’ worth of Big Bite Events’ festivals, too many things went wrong that no one thought that Big Bite Events could rectify their flagship event. Without going into too much detail, major issues involved the steep admission price, parking fees, long lines, low food quality, lack of food, food not fully cooked or heated, meager sample portions, too few vendors, lack of accessible water, and no crowd control. All of these factors over the past few years contributed to bad press for Big Bite Events. This past year, they flipped it around with the Bacon Festival (linked above) that actually managed to operate well, and that organization has carried over to Sugar Rush.
Much like the improvements of their bacon festival, Big Bite Events delivered a dessert festival that surely would please anyone attending. The amount of attendees compared to vendors matched perfectly, as no vendor ever had a long line, and no one had any trouble navigating through the event space. Fortunately, none of the vendors ever ran out of samples either, even with the vendors encouraging attendees to sample as much as they would like. Sugar Rush had a reasonable admission fee too: $10 for general admission, or $20 for VIP that included early admission, a goodie bag, access to a VIP area, and a complimentary alcohol & chocolate pairing. I believe that if Big Bite Events wanted to truly put a “cherry on top” they should have included a free pair of tickets to next year’s OC Fair.
While the Big Bite Events suffered from bad press in the past few years, I believe this year’s two festivals may help to bring them back into good standing. We all hope that they learned from their past mistakes and use this year’s festivals’ overall success to deliver quality events in the future. If you seek out more food & drink goodness, make sure you check out Big Bite Events on Facebook and Twitter for updates regarding future events.