The sweet 16 has arrived for the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival, a chance for visitors and locals to taste some of the best wines in North Carolina, and organizers are prepped and ready to go for Saturday’s event at Elkin Municipal Park.
Twenty-six wineries will be set up and pouring in the park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with food vendors, craft vendors and live music at the band shell. Organizers announced that 700 tickets already have been purchased from the eventbrite.com site, more than last year’s 400 online ticket sales, and more admissions are expected to be sold at the gate.
Myra Cook, president of the hosting Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, said she believes it’s more than just the wine that brings people back to the festival year after year. “I think it’s not only the different wine tastings, but the music and the atmosphere. And of course, visiting the wineries to see what the Yadkin Valley has to offer.”
Roaring River Vineyard is the newest winery to be added to the list of those offering their vintages this year.
“The Yadkin Valley Wine Festival committee has worked almost year-round, in preparation for our 16th annual wine festival,” Cook said. “The original purpose for the wine festival was to make more people aware of the viticulture and different wines this area is capable of producing. The festival now is a boost to tourism and the economy for the area. We continue to enjoy the growing participation.”
She said visitors have come from other countries and more than a dozen states. “We’ve had people calling all week from Florida, Ohio, that use this for their vacation every year. One couple will be using this to celebrate their anniversary,” Cook said. “We already in a good mood, but it gets us in a better mood too, seeing how excited and happy they are to be here.”
The Elkin Rescue Squad will be on hand parking cars Saturday, and Mike Bovender, a squad member and assistant chairman of the festival committee, said the volunteers will park more than 900 cars on the park grounds and nearby sewer authority parking area for $5 each. Also, Elkin Presbyterian Church, across the street from the park entrance, will have paid parking available.
For the squad, that brings in about $4,000 a year toward its operating fund, including a new ambulance purchased with funds the department has been saving for several years, Bovender said.
Adults and children will have an opportunity to stomp grapes, as well as listen to local music provided by Blue Sky at noon followed by Phatt City at 3 p.m. In addition to the stomp and music, organizers said the kids that come spend time on the playground and playing in the small creek that runs through the park.
Food vendors will sell everything from BBQ, crab cakes and Haitian food to hamburgers, fries and corn dogs.
Cook said this is her fourth festival in Elkin, and she praised the nine members of the wine festival committee for their efforts. She said most of them have been on the committee for 16 years and “they know their job and what they’re good at.”
Also helping at the event will be Surry County deputies, Elkin police officers, Surry EMS and Elkin Fire Department, Cook said.
Admission for Saturday’s festival is $22 in advance and $30 at the gate, with active-duty and retired military admitted for $20 on Saturday. VIP tickets are available for $102 and include preferential parking, a festival T-shirt and access to the hospitality tent. Shuttle service is available to and from participating hotels for $5 per person.
For details and to purchase tickets, visit www.YVWF.com or call 336-526-1111. To learn more about the Yadkin Valley area and explore lodging options, visit www.YadkinValleyNC.com.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.