Food Festivals

Win VIP Tickets to Pairings 2012, New Times Food and Wine Event

The kids are finally back in school and out of your house after a long hot summer vacation. And while school might not be a child's favorite way to spend a day, most kids at least find the first week back to be exciting. It's kind of like the way you probably look forward to New Times' fifth annual Pairings event -- and if you aren't, you should.

Every year around this time - and this year on September 13th specifically -- New Times gathers together the finest, oldest, and newest local restaurants and asks them to offer up a signature dish. It is then paired with a wine carefully selected by the proprietor of boutique wine shop Wine Watch. This year, more than 40 local dining establishments will be represented and we're offering you a chance to win your way in.

While Pairings is strictly 21 and over, a kid still has to eat and Little Johnny's lunch bag could help you win a pair of VIP tickets.

How? Draw us a picture. Preferably on a lunch bag. That's right -- show us your very best lunch bag art, and we might pick you to win a pair of Pairings passes. If you don't have any school kids, you can still enter -- just do your doodling on a cocktail napkin.

Check out LunchBagArt dad Derek Benson's blog for inspiration. But you don't have to be Rembrandt to win this contest. We appreciate effort and creativity. The winner will be announced Friday morning. Share your entry in the comments email it here, or share it on Instagram with the hashtag, #CleanPlateCharlie.

Visit the official Pairings page for more information. General admission is $50 online (until noon September 13) or $60 at

the door. A VIP pass is $90 online or $100 at the door gets you in an

hour early, a larger wine glass for gratuitous sampling, and admission

to the VIP lounge where you'll find comfortable seating and some

specially selected food and wine pairings.