The annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival will celebrate its Sweet 16 this year on May 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Elkin Municipal Park.
“The festival gets bigger and better each year,” said Misty Matthews with the sponsoring Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We hope everyone will come out for a wonderful day at Elkin Municipal Park to enjoy the flavors of the Yadkin Valley. It’s going to be great music, great food, great wine, and most of all, great people.”
The festival began as a way to promote the fledgling wine industry in the area and has become a tradition for wine lovers near and far. Matthews said that folks from all across the state and the country come to the festival each year. Last year, around 3,000 guests purchased wine tasting tickets for the event and Matthews said they estimate a total of 7,000 attendees overall.
The event is family-friendly with plenty of food options and live musical entertainment. Another highlight of the event that is a favorite for the young and young-at-heart is the grape stomp. Event attendees are given the chance to compete with a friend or other attendee to see who can fill a mason jar with fresh grape juice the fastest by stomping grapes with their bare feet.
There’s also plenty of toe tapping and the dance floor is usually full by the end of the day as festival-goers enjoy the live music.
This year’s entertainment will feature two local bands. The Blue Sky Band will perform from noon to 2 p.m. and Phatt City will take the stage from 3 to 5 p.m. to close out the celebration.
In addition to the 26 wineries that will be pouring, there will be plenty to choose from as far as snacks and food.
From traditional festival food such as hot dogs, cheeseburgers and ice cream, to BBQ, Haitian cuisine, such as chili-glazed wings, crab cakes and more.
Eighteen different craft vendors also will be at the festival featuring items such as hats, jewelry, clothing, gourmet foods, Adirondack chairs and more.
Tickets for this year’s Yadkin Valley Wine Festival are $22 in advance, $30 at the gate. Advance tickets are available for purchase by calling the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce or online through EventBrite at www.yvwf.com. A select number of VIP tickets are available at a cost of $100 each, which includes tasting wristband, festival wineglass, VIP parking, festival shirt and access to the VIP/Hospitality Tent.
A military discount is available with active duty or retired military ID card, tickets will be $20 at the gate for veterans.
Festival parking is available on site at Elkin Municipal Park for $5 per vehicle, with proceeds going to the Elkin Volunteer Rescue Squad. Alternatively, shuttle bus service will run between 10:30 a.m and 6 p.m. from participating hotels in Elkin and Jonesville at a cost of $5 per person, valid throughout the day. There is a no coolers, pets or firearms policy at the festival.
Visitors to the Yadkin Valley are encouraged to make an entire weekend out of the event. With the annual wine auction on Friday night, the Tour de Vino bike ride Saturday morning and most area wineries open on Sundays, there will be plenty of fun the entire weekend.
For more information about the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival, visit their Facebook page or website at www.yvwf.com.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @onthevinemag.