Spring has sprung and that means wine festival time in the Yadkin Valley wine region. The 17th annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival will be held on May 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Elkin Municipal Park.
“We’re looking forward to the legendary festival-goers that have been coming for 16 years and we’re looking to having them back and hopefully having a lot of new attendees,” said Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce President Myra Cook.
Cook said the committee has been hard at work preparing for this year’s event.
“Our committee works tirelessly almost 12 months out of the year and most of them have been on the committee for all these years,” Cook said. “They are looking forward to it.”
Cook said they also have a dedicated group of volunteers that return each year to make sure everything runs smoothly the day of the festival.
The event began as a way to promote the fledgling wine industry in the area and has become a tradition for wine lovers near and far. Thousands of attendees come each year to the festival.
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 to see who can fill a mason jar with fresh grape juice the fastest by stomping grapes with their bare feet.
“Basin Creek Realty and Gambill Aldridge sponsor the grape stomp and it’s always a lot of fun,” Cook said. Walmart is another sponsor of the event and donates the grapes each year for the grape stomp.
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 The Legacy Motown Revue from noon to 1:30 p.m. and beach music band The Embers featuring Craig Woolard from 2 to 5 p.m.
“We’re excited about The Embers being there this year,” Cook said.
In addition to the more than 20 area 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, crab cakes and more.
“The food is always so good,” Cook added.
Craft vendors also will be at the festival featuring items such as jewelry, pottery, stained-glass wine glasses and hats. With this year’s festival coinciding with the royal wedding of Prince Harry, there are sure to be plenty of attendees decked out with fancy headgear.
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 wine 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. All festival parking is available on site at Elkin Municipal Park for $5 per vehicle, with proceeds going to the Elkin Rescue Squad, a volunteer organization. Alternatively, shuttle bus service will run between 10:30 a.m and 5:30 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. All wine tasting attendees must have valid ID to enter 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 @RippleReporterK.