The festival closes Sunday afternoon with an Afternoon Tea Buffet and keynote talk by Lorna Reeves, editor of Tea Time Magazine, named Best Tea Publication at the 2014 World Tea Awards. Special Friday only events include:
- Breakfast with the Rock Stars of Tea - Buffet breakfast before classes start with Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis, Lorna Reeves of Tea Time Magazine, Virginia Utermohlen-Lovelace of Pair Teas, Sharyn Johnston of Australian Tea Masters and more. (Additional ticket required.)
- Official Opening Ceremony - Cultural representatives from countries around the world will share their teas with each other in peace and good wishes to officially open the event and usher in a weekend of international tea connections and friendship.
- Lunch with Cultural Dignitaries - A tasting flight of teas provided by representatives of tea producing regions and countries with strong tea cultures accompanies a delicious plated lunch prepared by the chefs of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza. Representatives from Japan and Sri Lanka, of Nepal, China and India and others will be present and will talk a bit about their regions' ties to tea. (Additional ticket required.)
- The Champagne of Teas (movie screening) - Exclusive screening of Kevin Gascoyne's movie about Darjeeling (Additional ticket required)
- Opening Night Casual Cocktail Reception - Light nibbles and a drink to kick off your tea weekend in Chicago. (Additional ticket required.)
Friday, Nov. 1 - Sunday, Nov. 3
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza River North, Chicago, IL
Single-day admission $25, two-day pass $35 and a three-day VIP pass is $45. Tea industry professionals pay $35 for a three-day pass.