April 26, 2016
Kings Dominion is celebrating Spring with their 3rd annual Spring Bloom Festival. Saturdays and Sundays through May 15, you will find special floral displays lining International Street, samples of internationally-inspired cuisine beneath the Eiffel Tower at the International Food Faire, live entertainment, and more.
International Street is the focus of the Spring Bloom namesake, with vibrant spring colors and displays lining either side.
The highlight of the festival is the International Food Faire, which has been consolidated this season into one centralized area beneath the Eiffel Tower. Four countries are represented – Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and Italy. Each booth occupies one corner of the base of the tower. Tastings can be purchased individually at each booth with cash. Platinum pass discounts are available, but you must make your purchase at the centralized Information Booth where credit cards are also accepted. Food samples are $5 each. Wine and beer samples are $3 each for a smaller tasting size or $8 each for full size. A package of 4 food and 4 drink sample tickets is available for $25 – the best value if you want to taste your way around the world (well, Central Europe, at least).
Each country booth offers two savory dishes, one dessert dish, a local craft brew pairing, and a wine pairing. While each dish is inspired by the host country, the offerings are very much geared towards a standard American audience with nothing too adventurous (and while I can’t be certain, I’m not sure “Irish Nachos” are actually a thing). While the wines offered by Germany and Italy are from the appropriate countries, the Swiss booth offers a South African wine (a great wine even if it is not Swiss) and the Irish booth offers a local Virginia wine. All of the craft brew options are from breweries local to the Kings Dominion area.
From a quick and completely unscientific survey of the dishes being purchased at the time, the Swiss Mac and Cheese with diced bacon and smoked gouda seemed to be the most popular, and those working the booths gave a glowing recommendation for the Italian Spring Pesto Orzo Salad with miniature balls of mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, marinated artichokes, and a garlic crostini.
Other experiences on offer during the Spring Bloom Festival include flower pot decorating, a petting zoo, and the Lowe’s Build and Grow workshop, all located in the Kids Garden in Planet Snoopy. For the final weekend of the event, Sabrina Carpenter will be performing a free concert in the amphitheater.
If you live nearby or will be passing through, the Spring Bloom Festival is definitely worth a visit. It may not be on the scale of a destination event such as Haunt, but smaller festivals such as this are a great way to bring variety and something a little new and different to the park experience throughout the year. So stop in, check out the displays, sample something new, and ride Intimidator 305 (or the Carousel if that’s more your speed)!
Check out our video overview of the festival:
- Black Forest Ham & Havarti Cheese on Pretzel Bun
- German Potato Salad
- Apple Sticky Bun Bread Pudding
- Hardywood Pils (from Hardywood Brewing, Richmond)
- 2012 Weingut Louis Guntrum Riesling (Germany)
- Charcuterie & Cheese
- Swiss Mac and Cheese
- Swiss Waffle
- Slingshot KOLSCH (Center of the Universe Brewing, Ashland VA)
- Jam Jar 2015 (South Africa)
- Irish Banger with spinach buttered mashed potatoes
- Loaded “Irish Nachos”
- Iris Coffee and Chocolate trifle
- Legend Porter (from Legend Brewing, Richmond)
- Rad Red (Ashland, VA)
- Spring Pesto Orzo Salad
- Prosciutto Melon Wedge
- Tiramisu Parfait
- Honeydew Hard Cider (from Bold Rock Brewery, Nellysford VA)
- Prodigo, Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Italy)