County wine festival
Schuylkill County Wine Festival returns with new activities
Organizers of the Schuylkill County Wine Festival hope this year’s event is one to remember.
The eighth annual event will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Hegins Park, Hegins. Tickets are $15 and $5 for designated drivers. Children ages 16 and under are permitted for free with a paying adult. Admission and music begin at noon with wineries serving at 1 p.m. The first 1,500 people at the gate will get a 2016 wine glass.
Twelve wineries from Schuylkill and surrounding counties are slated to attend. They are: Benigna’s Creek Vineyard and Winery, Klingerstown; Red Shale Ridge Winery, Hegins; Stone Mountain Wine Cellars, Pine Grove; Long Trout Winery, Auburn; Galen Glen Vineyards and Winery, Andreas; Fieldwood Winery, Schuylkill Haven; Shade Mountain Vineyards and Winery, Middleburg, Snyder County; Brookmere Winery and Vineyard Inn, Bellville, Mifflin County; Armstrong Valley Vineyard and Winery, Halifax, Dauphin County; Allegra Wines, Brogue, York County; Spyglass Ridge Vineyard, Sunbury, Northumberland County, and Stonekeep Meadery, Birdsboro, Berks County.
A popular activity at the festival is the table decorating contest, and this year it has a new addition — a costume contest.
People are encouraged to dress in their finest, wackiest outfits. The ones that are chosen as examples of the festival’s spirit will receive a free bottle of wine.
The theme for the table decorating contest is “Vineyards, Vintners, Vino: A September to Remember.” Sharol Snyder, co-chairwoman for the contest, said she sees the theme as representing the autumn-feel of the month with a wine association.
Participants can register Sunday at the Eating House on park grounds. Snyder said people need to register between 1 and 2 p.m. to give themselves time to get set up for the judges. Wine basket prizes will be awarded to the judges’ favorites.
A new addition to this year’s festival is Painting in the Park, two hour-long painting sessions hosted by artist Heather Clevenger. Supplies will be provided. Sessions will be held at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Those interested will pay $30 at the gate, which also includes festival admission, and need to specify which session they want to attend.
Snyder said live music will be provided throughout the festival, with DJ Dan Poletti playing on the small stage and bands, including festival newcomer The Collins Bunch, performing on the large stage. She said there are a number of new food vendors and crafters as well.
Snyder said the festival is held rain or shine.
“We have been fortunate. We have had fairly good weather. The one time it rained it was a short shower. So we have been fortunate with that,” Snyder said.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature will be in the upper 70s with a slight chance for rain showers.
For more information, visit the festival’s website at www.schuylkillwinefestival.com or its Facebook page.
Terry Stutzman, right, pours a sample of Red Shale Ridge Vineyard’s White Pigeon during last year’s Schuylkill County Wine Festival. This year’s festival will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Hegins Park, Hegins.