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The demand for tickets to Bubbles and Sweets... With a Twist spawned a slew of exclamation-filled want ads on Craigslist, desperate texts to festival organizers, and even a hand-scrawled "wanted" poster pinned to Starbucks' bulletin board. This annual soiree, where everything is either sweet or effervescent or both, is a favorite of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival's younger set, as evidenced by the throngs of pretty young things dressed in cocktail party frippery who flocked to the tents in Marion Square for the 9 p.m. party. Short hemlines and sky-high heels were de rigueur at this see-and-be-seen scene sponsored by Charleston magazine and the Art Institute of Charleston

 

In previous years, a suave deejay served as warden of the fete's flow, but organizers decided to ratchet up the ruckus with a cover band called Hot Sauce that churned out rock versions of popular top 40 hits, including Ke$ha and Fergie. A few old school favorites—Madonna's Holiday, anyone?—kept the beat bouncing right along, and the syncopation of a few hundred sugar buzzed bodies on the crowded dance floor left even the bystanders breathless.

 

Kelly Wilson, a favored local dame of dark chocolate (although don't ask her to make a molten cake when figs are in season), lived up to her reputation for clever confections with a bubble gum ice cream float that Charleston food editor Marion Sullivan dubbed delicious!

 

In addition to the 12 local pastry chefs who participated in Bubbles and Sweets, Elizabeth Falkner of San Francisco's Citizen Cake had a plum position beneath the carnival-style lightbulb sign that spelled S-W-E-E-T-S. She popped up at the late night after party hosted by FIG, and we wished she could have been convinced to stick around the city long enough to whip up her classic carrot birthday cake for a celebration later this week...

 

The ice luge was popular. The portions were substantial. And the pink, furry handcuffs-as-decor were eye-catching. We're looking at you, Mitchell Crosby, party planner extraordinaire.

 

In short, this fete would have even the most dour Oompa Loompa doing pirouettes of spun sugared glee amid mounds of bon bons. Right, Denise Barto?

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