Grapefest – 25th anniversary in the history books

This year’s Grapefest was one of the best I have been to.  We took in more of the festivities than ever and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The city has outdone itself again.  Some of our highlights:

1.  People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic.  This year we went on Thursday instead of Saturday – highly recommended for crowd control.  Lines were much shorter and we were able to take our time and chat with the representatives from the wineries.  It didn’t hurt that the weather was MUCH improved over last year – nice and cool.  (Of course it did rain on Friday night – like a monsoon – but we were so grateful to just be getting rain, that I didn’t mind at all).

2.  Volunteering.  If I had known it would be that much fun, I would have started doing this years ago.  I spent a few hours in “vendor hospitality” where I had a great time visiting with the vendors and helping them out with little things like watching their booth for a few minutes while they took a bathroom break, or getting answers to questions they had.  I had lots of time to explore all the arts and crafts booths and their goods, and socialize with the vendors to make sure they felt welcome and had what they needed.  Then I moved to one of the wine pavilions and got to indulge in a job I’ve always wanted – bartender.  🙂  I spent a few hours serving wine and recommending my favorites to the customers.  The other volunteers were a lot of fun and made the time fly by.  If you have a chance to volunteer at Grapefest or another of our local festivals, please don’t hesitate.  It’s a great way to give back to the city and it’s such a fun time, it hardly seems like work.

3.  Shopping.  As usual we visited just about all the booths and this year actually bought something from a vendor we’ve seen every year, Barrel Designs.   We got a wine rack from them at about 40% off the retail price on their website, and I’ve got my eye on some bigger items including tables and chairs.  I would have bought some this year but we are remodeling our house and I wasn’t entirely sure where to put them.  Next time!

4. Multiple visits. We stopped by Grapefest every day except Saturday and were glad to have obtained weekend passes.  It’s so nice to be able to come and go and the festival is so well organized that it’s easy to do that.  I have friends from out of town who are amazed at the amount of free parking available so close to the festival and the low price of admission.

5.  Food.  How to decide from among crepes, corn dogs, tacos, turkey legs, and roasted corn?  And so many more?  Possibly the hardest decision of the weekend.  I loved that one of our favorite Mexican places, Taqueria Burritos Locos, was there this year.

The countdown to next year is on!

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