Wine Lovers All Around Should Be Grapeful
Celebrate the start of fall with the return of WineFest
FRIDAY, SEPT. 24 - 26
Nestled against Lake Erie and the New York border, the town of North East may seem like a quiet town. Yet, each year this hidden gem draws in thousands of visitors with what once started as a humble street fair to what is now a regional event. The Wine Country Harvest Festival, known simply as WineFest, returns for its 40th birthday after a one-year COVID hibernation. Meaning, you can stop your whining and finally get your wine on.
Harvest is arguably the golden time of year to be in North East. The endless rows of vineyards leave even residents in awe — not to mention the overwhelming aroma of fresh grapes that seems to reach every corner of town. With 13 participating wineries, wine lovers have the opportunity to sample 100 different wines (emphasis on opportunity — that much wine is sure to knock you off your feet!).
As tradition goes, the three-day festival falls on the last weekend of September, from Friday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 26. However, instead of hosting multiple sites as it has in the past, WineFest will only be held in its original location in downtown North East, Gibson Park. Designated tasting hours will run from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon, giving attendees the choice of purchasing tickets for a single day, two, or all three. Tickets are limited and available online only.
Although this weekend festival showcases the best wines of the region, it caters to the whole family. Tickets are required to enter the wine tasting area, but admittance into the park is free. Vendors offering local arts and crafts for purchase as well as delicious eats will scatter the park. Live music from varying artists can be heard throughout the fest every day. Adding to this joyous event are strolling entertainers ranging from a balloon artist to a magician. Your children will love it and so will your inner child. Come with your best friends, significant other, or whole family — there's something for everyone to enjoy.
They say it takes a whole village to raise a child, well apparently it also takes a whole town to throw a great wine festival. Raise your glasses to the North East Chamber of Commerce for organizing this grape event as well as to the countless volunteers, sponsors, and participating organizations. — Morgan Ashlee Grenz
Friday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. // Gibson Park, North East // www.nechamber.org/aboutwinefest // See website for ticket prices and details