GREENWICH — The musical lineup for the annual Greenwich Wine and Food Festival is growing.
Grammy-winning country music superstars Little Big Town will be the headliners on Sept. 21, the second day of the festival, organizers announced last month. And on Tuesday, they revealed that musician and peace activist Michael Franti and his band Spearhead will be the opening act.
Franti is best known for his upbeat hits, “Say Hey (I Love You)” and “The Sound of Sunshine.” Local music fans may remember his performance with Spearhead at the 2013 Greenwich Town Party.
“We could not think of a better act to kick off our musical performances,” event organizer Suni Unger said. “The combination of Michael’s inspirational and upbeat lyrics, coupled with the gorgeous stage set on the shore of the Long Island Sound, with a glass of wine in hand, sounds like the perfect Saturday night in September to me.”
Unger is the founder and CEO of Unger Media, the parent company behind the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival. The festival, which is marking its ninth year in town, will be presented by PepsiCo on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21 at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.
The festival will open Sept. 20 with the Master Chef Wine Gala, which will showcase the culinary and musical scene of New Orleans and feature a performance by the Grammy-winning Kermit Ruffins and the Rebirth Brass Band.
And on Sept. 21, before the performances by Spearhead and Little Big Town, attendees will enjoy an all-day Culinary Village celebration of food, wine and the culture of cooking. It will feature a grand tasting tent, demonstrations from chefs, book signings and 150 experts on food, wine and spirits.
Foodies can also vote take part in contests to name the area’s best burgers, barbecue, tacos and more, including the fifth annual top bartender showdown.
The nonprofit beneficiary of the festival will be Food Rescue US, a Norwalk-based group that works to reduce hunger in America while combatting food waste. Its mobile app connects restaurants, storess and others with excess food with organizations dedicated to feeding people with food insecurity.
“Food Rescue US is honored to be the beneficiary of the 2019 Greenwich Wine and Food Festival to further our mission of reducing food waste and hunger,” said Carol Shattuck of Greenwich, the nonprofit’s CEO. “There are important synergies between our organizations, and we look forward to working with the GWFF to showcase excellent food prepared by premier chefs while focusing on the importance of sustainability by reducing food waste.”
Volunteer food rescuers will be on hand to ensure the festival’s unconsumed food will not go to waste and will be delivered to human service agencies throughout Fairfield County, Shattuck said. Food Rescue US will also be on hand at the festival to share information on how attendees can get invovlved.
The town’s Parks and Recreation Foundation will be a beneficiary as well.
In its previous eight years, the festival has donated nearly $1 million to nonprofit organizations.
Tickets can be purchased at www.greenwichwineandfood.com or by calling 203-588-1363.