At the end of August I got to Attend the Cruzan Summer of Rum Festival. I absolutely love rum drinks, and I was going to get to meet some of my fellow bloggers at this event. I know a few, but I haven't met a lot of them, so I was looking forward to this event.
When we arrived at the festival I was a little confused. The lines were long and it looked like there were several different areas to enter based on how you purchased your tickets. However it all looked like one line and upon asking no one was really sure where to go. After waiting about 2 minutes, however, one of the event staff came over and asked people which tickets they had and directed everyone to the right area. This cut the wait time down significantly.
While waiting to get my Endless Rum Cup and wristband I looked around at the area. This warehouse looked beaten down and I was nervous to how the event was going to turn out. However, upon entering the event, I realized that the inside was transformed. There were palm trees, rum shacks, grass skirts, tiki torches - everything that made the area look like tons of fun. The problem was that it was SUPER crowded.
I skipped the long drink lines to headed over and take a group picture with some of the Tampa Bay Bloggers. We met up by the photo booth, used some fun props, and posed. I think I make a pretty good looking pirate!
After hanging out for a little bit I headed outside to meet up with some friends and family. They informed me that the frozen drink maker was broken, so what I was looking forward to the most - pina coladas & frozen daiquiris - wasn't going to happen. I was bummed at first but I remembered that there were so many other drinks to try!
I stood on line for a Mai Tai, and while waiting ran into Denise. We chatted a while and she informed me about the drink she was having - some ginger beer/rum mix. Sounded interesting.
The line was a bit long, but in comparison to the wait at their previous event, the Margarita Festival, I would say they weren't too bad. There were definitely more bartenders than at the Margarita fest. We got our drinks in our fancy cups and hung out under a big straw umbrella.
I also sampled the Hurricane and the Bay Breeze. The drinks were pretty good, the weather was cool, and we got to listen to the live band outdoors. We hung out, chatted, drank, and were merry.
Overall I would say I had a good time. There were pros and cons of the event, but that goes for everything. I loved the decor of the event - like I stated before, the inside of this abandoned warehouse was transformed with tropical island decor. The lines were shorter then the previous event I had been of this kind, but as always the wait could have been shorted and I would have been able to try out more of the drink assortment.
I would love to attend another Rum Festival event, but I would hope the crowd was a bit smaller and the frozen drinks were available! This WAS the first Rum Festival, so I'm looking forward to next years!
Disclaimer: I received a pair of Endless Cup tickets to the Summer of Rum Fest for my honest review. The opinions shared are my own.