Wining and dining will mix with shopping for a different pre-holiday event.
The first Windber Winter Wine Fest will be held in two tasting sessions from 1 to 4 and 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Windber Community Building, 1605 Graham Ave.
The wine fest, combined with a holiday shopping experience, is being presented by the Windber Municipal Authority, said Kelly Campitell, a board member and vice chairwoman of the authority.
Proceeds will benefit the municipal authority, specifically upgrades and renovations to Windber Recreation Park and the public swimming pool and the Windber community.
The municipal authority partnered with Windber Fire Department in May to launch Windber Wine in the Park, which went well.
“We want to make this wine fest an annual staple and bring new events to the community,” Campitell said. “We hope to inform guests of what we do, and we want to showcase the community building.”
The municipal authority is looking to launch a campaign fund drive to secure a $1 million matching grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
At the wine fest, six Pennsylvania wineries will offer tastings and bottles to purchase, and 15 to 20 artisans and crafters will offer their products for purchase for holiday gifts.
Participating wineries are B&L Wine Cellars, Johnstown; Walnut Hill Winery, Blairsville; Starr Hill Winery, Curwensville; Raspberry Acres Winery, Blairsville; Allegheny Wine Cellars, Sheffield; and Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville.
Woody Lodge is the newest winery on the list, having just made its debut last month.
Walnut Hill Winery will be pairing cigars with its wines, the new, hot thing, Campitell said.
There will be plenty of food options available.
Oakwood Restaurant at Laurel View Village in Davidsville will offer appetizers, sandwiches and hot dinner options.
Miss Meatball of Greensburg will serve beef and chicken meatballs with a choice of gourmet sauces.
Fruity Petals of Windber will have gourmet baskets and edible fruit arrangements.
Kim’s Sassy Sweets will offer chocolates and candy confections.
The ladies auxiliary of Windber Fire Department will have desserts, coffee and a cheese ball fundraiser.
Artisan and craft booth spaces will feature jams, jellies, sauces, salsas and syrups from Carriage House Creations; hand-stitched embroidery pictures and hand-painted wine glasses and stemware from Ladybugs; soy candles, handmade tarts, soaps and lotions from Heaven Scent Country Creations; wearable art pendants from Anna Leah Designs; ceramics from Do Me A Favor; maple products from Sechler Sugar Shack; artisan cheese from Clover Creek Cheese Cellar; upcycled wool mittens, hats, scarves and puppets from Miracle Mittens; wine smoothies and nuts from Vern DeLong; wreaths and holiday decorations from Something Xtra Special Floral and Gifts; watercolor paintings, name portraits and cards from Nadine M. Toth Fine Art Studio; personalized plaques and ornaments from Welc’s Crafts; and Laurel Highlands Therapeutic Massage.
“The crafters have been hand selected,” Campitell said. “We reached out to artists at festivals and had a good pool to select from. We want to support local small businesses. They are all within a 30 to 40 miles radius of the Johnstown-Windber area.”
Nonprofit booths supplying information on their group will include the American Wine Society with certified judge Joe Dautlick, Windber Area Community Kitchen, Circle of Friends of Windber and Windber Wine in the Park.
There also will be 30 to
40 gift baskets to bid on.
“Each winery is going to have one, and each artisan and vendor will submit something with their product,” Campitell said.
Tickets will be available at the community building; Something Xtra Special Floral and Gift, 15th Street, Windber; and Media Exchange Services, Jefferson Avenue, Windber.
Any unsold tickets will be sold at the door before each session.
There will be no wine tasting permitted for those who choose the designated driver ticket option, but they will be able to enjoy the event and make purchases to take home.
Updates can be found on the event’s Facebook page under Windber Winter Wine Fest.
Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at Twitter.com/RuthRiceTD.