Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shores of Erie International Wine Festival to celebrate their fifth anniversary

we reprint this from the Amherstburg Echo:
Friday night fireworks added to this year's festival
Posted By Ron Giofu/The Amherstburg Echo
AMHERSTBURG – The Shores of Erie International Wine Festival celebrates their fifth anniversary this weekend with a full slate of wine, food, entertainment and fun.
The festival opens Thursday, September 10 and following the opening ceremonies, the evening’s entertainment will be Justin Nozuka starting at 5:45 p.m. followed by The Stills at 7:15 p.m. with Bedouin Soundclash closing the evening out starting at 8:45 p.m. Festival administrator Kelly O’Rourke believes that night will appeal to people with different musical tastes.
“That will be a really cool night,” said O’Rourke.
O’Rourke noted that thanks to a grant from Celebrate Ontario, the wine festival has been able to secure more top flight entertainment. That includes Serena Ryder on Friday night and Kathleen Edwards on Sunday afternoon. All the featured entertainment will be on the main stage, but, like last year, there will be a second stage also located on the Fort Malden National Historic Site grounds.
As part of their fifth annual celebrations, there will be fireworks on Friday night at roughly 10 p.m. People and entire families are encouraged to enjoy them, and those with families who don’t or can’t access the Fort grounds invited to watch them from Navy Yard Park.
“Bring your family down to watch. Walk through the downtown when it’s vibrant and busy. It’s so cool,” said O’Rourke.
O’Rourke pointed out that once again this year there will be the cooking demonstrations put on by chefs and master chefs Saturday and Sunday with the demonstrations also including samples for the audience and the recipes so people can try them at home. Also on Saturday and Sunday, there will be “The Four Corners of the Wine World” which attempts to give people an appreciation of wine through education. Those interactive presentations will be ongoing for both days. Those presentations are free once inside the Fort grounds.
“If you are a novice, you will learn right away,” said O’Rourke. “If you are an experienced wine lover, you’ll pick up some tips.”
New this year is a shuttle service, which runs from the former General Chemical property on Sandwich St. North to Fort Malden. O’Rourke said the ride takes roughly 3 ½ minutes and runs throughout the festival, right up until 30 minutes after last call.
“We want to take the hassle out of finding a parking spot,” she said.
The House of Shalom Youth Centre will help by providing set up, maintenance and cleanup at Fort Malden.
Also this year, the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival teams with the Sir Winston Churchill Chapter IODE Antique Show with the antique show being held nearby in the General Amherst High School gymnasium. Admission to that is $5 and runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s a really good compliment to our festival,” said O’Rourke.
There are 12 local wineries and 24 area restaurants that will be participating in this year’s wine festival with some restaurants returning from last year and some new ones. O’Rourke said everyone will get a wine glass to use as they enter the grounds thanks to a TD Friends of the Environment grant. People are asked not to bring outside glass in.
Hours of the festival are 5-10 p.m. both Thursday and Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for Thursday night in advance and $15 in advance for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A three-day pass, available only at the wine festival office in the Gordon House, is $40 and good for Friday through Sunday. All tickets are $5 more at the gate. Tickets are available at the Gordon House, any United Communities Credit Union or ScotiaBank locations throughout Essex County. There were still tickets available for all nights, as of this past Thursday afternoon.

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