COLUMBIA, SC — The Soto family ate a conglomeration of delicacies from Vista restaurants around lunchtime on Saturday.
Jennifer and David Soto brought their children to the Viva La Vista food festival. Jennifer Soto and the children’s grandmother ate skewers of teryaki chicken, while the kids, 3-year-old Matthew and 5-year-old Aleysia, each had little cupcakes.
The Sotos were just a few of the thousands at Columbia’s annual food festival in The Vista that features dishes from the city’s top restaurants and, this year, musical acts headlined by Grammy Award-winning band The Wailers.
A little after noon Missy Cassano sat on a curb with her 3-year-old son Nicholas, who was a little cranky, she said.
“It’s nap time, beyond nap time,” Cassano said.
She got a snack out of her purse to appease Nicholas.
“Mommy has to have a bag of tricks,” she said.
Cassano and her husband moved to Columbia from New York in February to open a pizza restaurant. She has over a decade of experience working in restaurants in New York, and she enjoyed the food at Viva La Vista.
“There’s still a ton of selection down here as well,” she said.
There was a lot of selection for music, too.
Ron and Stephanie O’Neal love the rock band TENTOESUP, who they have seen play about 20 times. They usually see the band when they visit their place at Murrell’s Inlet but got to see them before noon on Saturday.
“We’re one of the groupies,” Stephanie O’Neal joked.
An unscheduled musical act was 84-year-old Ron Edge.
Edge played a Musette, which is an accordion-style instrument famous for being used to play love songs outside of the bistros in Paris.
Edge is originally from Lancashire in England.
“Where The Beatles come from,” he said.
He began playing when he was 60 and has never had any music lessons. He used to teach musical acoustics, the physics of music, at the University of South Carolina, but said that is much different from playing.
Kids love it when he plays because they’ve never seen an instrument like it before, he said.
Edge is familiar with the Vista and he meets a group of people for lunch at a restaurant in the area on Mondays.
But on Saturday, lunch plates were filled with food from not just one, but a mixture of many Vista restaurants.
WATCH: Video from the Viva La Vista on Saturday
Reach Cope at 803-771-8657 or on Twitter @cassielcope.