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Coming down from Euphoria

David Raad of Six and Twenty Distillery offers tastes of his product to Euphoria guests.
David Raad of Six and Twenty Distillery offers tastes of his product to Euphoria guests.
C. Hensley

Sunday night, a four day binge on food, wine and music came to an end in Greenville, South Carolina. This glorious gorge-fest known as Euphoria puts you on a real high. Then in the days following, you might think a crash is inevitable. However, the vibe from this Upcountry metropolis sticks with you like the sounds of the didgeridoo playing while a chef from the Charleston Cooks store explains how a leek is like an "onion on steroids!"

Euphoria just wrapped up its ninth festival and it continues to evolve. Noticeably absent this year was co-founder and headline performer, Edwin McCain ("I'll be" and "I could not ask for more"). He took a well deserved break. This year's headline performer was Grammy Award winning songwriter and singer, Kim Carnes. She and her band came in from Nashville (where Carnes has lived since 1995) performing a mix of the old and the new. As expected the crowd rose to their feet as Carnes belted out "Bette Davis Eyes" as Friday night's big event, "Taste of the South," came to an end. Carnes commented both on stage and off just how much she loved Greenville and the creative atmosphere it has created.

Saturday's "Tasting Showcase" drew hundreds of people to the large white tents just down Main Street from the historic Westin Poinsett Hotel and the statue of Joel Poinsett who likely looked on with pride as this city showed off its culinary might. This year, spirits were high as even more distilleries entered the mix of wine distributors and breweries. Whether it was Six and Twenty's Whiskey Margarita, Tito's handcrafted Vodka concoctions, Deep Eddy's 10-time distilled Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade, or Firefly's new lines of Moonshine, there were certainly plenty of ways to savor this festival.

Traffic jams generally leave a bad taste in your mouth, but add a few food trucks, the "grass 'n roll" sounds of Seven Handle Circus and the crisp autumn air and you have a nearly perfect celebration. Held at the historic Cigar Warehouse in the city's West End, the Traffic Jam event was a first for Euphoria and the city.

The famous Euphoria dinners were once again scattered across the city and Sunday's Jazz Brunch and Sunday dinner continued to delight the crowds. And all in all, this celebration of food, wine and music once again gave Greenville a chance to "up" its game showing it is much more than just a hub of South Carolina's Upcountry. And when it comes to achieving Euphoria, "Yeah! That Greenville" is where it happens and "calories don't count."