MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The South Beach Wine and Food Festival is back, starting with Italian Bites night.

Due to shutdowns, the festival was the last big event of 2020 in February of last year. It’s now the first large scale event of 2021.

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Some of the safety measures included COVID-sniffing dogs. If a guest showed any signs, they had to get out of the line and take a rapid test.

Normally, there would be about 3,000-plus people in attendance. But organizers said they’re keeping it down to just over 1,000 because of the pandemic.

Less people this time, but not less food.

Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis hosted this outdoor extravaganza that featured pizza to pasta to meatballs and more.

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The reduced capacity also meant eventgoers got to breeze through lines at over 30 different booths to grab some bites.

“It looks different, it feels different, but we are glad to be back. And I really feel that it’s going to be a really nice, safe, comfortable experience,” said Festival founder Lee Schrager. “And to everyone who’s coming out and supporting us, from our talent to the sponsors to the best audience in Miami ever, we’re just happy to have you back and we are just so thankful for all your support all these years.”

Chefs like Todd Erickson from Munchie’s Pizza Club in Fort Lauderdale couldn’t be happier to be back at work.

“There’s a really good vibe and people are excited to be out,” said Erickson, “and I’m one of those people.”

And while there will be fewer events overall this SOBEWFF, which is in its 20th year, there will be plenty of heavy hitters in the food world attending, from Bobby Flay to Guy Fieri.

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For event info, click here.

Lisa Petrillo