Get your taste buds ready:  it’s time for the 30th annual Wine Festival in Grape Country North East! 

The festival has grown to include several new and exciting features this year, including the use of a third venue at Heard Park. For the last 29 years the festival has been in just two locations, Gravel Pit and Gibson Parks.  Heard Park will feature over 30 juried artisans and handcrafters exhibiting their exceptional works.

Saturday morning on Lake Street, an old tradition returns to Wine Fest.  Bed Races took place during the festival many years ago and this year the Chamber is bringing the tradition back. The Bed Race is a charity event where local businesses create teams, decorate beds and race for a cause.  Prizes will be awarded to the most creatively decorated bed, and timed races will determine first, second and third place.

This year’s Bed Race proceeds will benefit the North East Food Pantry.  The event will take place on Saturday, September 24 at 10:30 a.m., beginning with the Parade of Beds led by Bubba Luv and several members of the North East High School Marching Band.

Another addition to the 2011 Wine Festival is the Wine Fest Stride ‘n Stomp 5K run/walk.  The 5K will follow a route very similar to that of the popular Cherry Fest 5K, through mostly shaded, quiet streets of North East. Participants will have the opportunity to stomp grapes upon completion of the race.   

The event will take place on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 9 a.m. Day-of registration and packet pick-up begins at 7:30 a.m. at the west side of Gibson Park. Proceeds of the 5K will benefit Downtown North East, Inc. 

A few other new and exciting features of Wine Fest this year include a Fine Arts show at Parkside, a hay maze and grape stomping for children at Gibson Park, and horse-drawn wagon rides with Clydesdale horses downtown.  Gibson Park will also offer trackless train rides on Friday and Sunday.

Join us for a grape-stomping good time at the 30th Annual Wine Festival, where there is something for everyone! For more information on all events during the 30th Annual Wine Festival visit http://nechamber.org/events/wine_fest/

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