Bridge Street wears the Wine and Walleye Festival well.
ASHTABULA_The Wine and Walleye Festival returned to Bridge Street Saturday under blue skies and mild temperatures after a year hiatus. The festival had become a must-attend festival during its run in the Historic Ashtabula Harbor before the Ashtabula Area Chamber of Commerce chose to move the 2016 festival to Lakeshore Park in Ashtabula Township.
The city refused to let the chamber take the Wine and Walleye name with them to Lakeshore Park for 2017. Ashtabula city officials, the Lift Bridge Community Association and other entities decided to revive the festival and return it to its home.
Winery owners and employees will be serving and speaking the viticulture language throughout the weekend as you taste their assortment of wines. Adults 21 and over are allowed inside the Wine Garden for an entry fee of $25. A wristband will be given along with multiple tasting tickets for your tasting flights.
More than 40 wines from local wineries are available to sample while guests tour the tasting tent. New, rare, and exciting wines from around the Grand River Valley are available for tasting. Whether you are a seasoned expert or a curious beginner, winemakers and winery representatives welcome you as they mix useful knowledge with amazing samples of their art.
The Wine and Walleye Festival prides itself on its Wine Garden tasting tent and committee members are pleased to see it return to Bridge Street in 2017. Expectations of nearly one dozen different wineries will be present. The Wine Garden will be tented and across the street from Rennick Meat Market nearest the main entertainment stage where guests will enjoy the sounds of our weekend live music lineup while sipping from their complimentary wine glasses.
A wristband for identification for a non-alcoholic option will be provided.
Three full band performances from all local artists will fill the stage Sunday. First to play will be the classic rock cover band the 21220 Project. After a short break, the renown “Ashtabula Blues Project”
will take the stage filling the air with jazz and blues sounds from thought the decades. Finally, our Sunday headliner Larry, Daryl, Daryl, and Sheryl will wrap things up with their high energy southern-rock and Texas-blues portfolio as lead guitarist Ed Dana makes his guitar sing.
The atmosphere at the wine and walleye was fun, light-hearted and very positive. I look forward to attending next year’s event.
Kudos to the organizers for the fine shuttle system helping festival patrons get from the Harbor Plaza parking lot on Lake Avenue to Bridge Street to enjoy the festival. The fireworks were an awesome addition!
A couple of suggestions: Please institute a few different levels of cost to sample the wine samples. $25 is far too expensive for the patron who may want to only sample one or two varieties of wine. A $10 ticket to sample, let’s say, three varieties of wine would be most appreciated; and one other thing, why did the organizers limit the participating wineries to only dry/semi dry wines? There were several disappointed patrons who had paid their $25 only find that sweet wines were not available. Not a good thing.