REGGAE WINE FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND
- July 20, 2012
- on 7/20/2012
- MoJo: DonnaMarie Needle
This weekend, Linganore Winery will host its annual Reggae Festival from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring the music of “Stryker’s Posse and The Image Band.” Linganore Winery is located at 13601 Glissans Mill Rd. Mount Airy.
According to Jessica Garcia, marketing director for LinganoreWinecellars/Berrywine Plantations, (often referred to as Linganore Winery), the farm itself was purchased in 1971. “The first grapes were planted in 1972 and wine production started in1976,” said Garcia. By 1976, there was actually a building open and selling wine. Garcia also noted research has shown that in 1977, Linganore Winery held the first ever wine festival on the entire east coast.
Fast forward to today, Linganore Winery sells 32 varieties of wine and is known for its great themed festivals throughout the spring, summer and fall months. The newest wine, called Indulgence, was introduced in December of 2011 and the festivals have grown exponentially over the years. Garcia said the winery expects anywhere from 3,000 to 20,000 in attendance depending on the festival. “The Reggae and Caribbean festivals are our oldest and largest festivals,” said Garcia. The other festivals such as the “Crush” festival in September and the “Vine Rewind” festival in June draw smaller crowds.
Festivals have grown into full-fledged events, offering a wide variety of food, including hamburgers, hot dogs, pit-beef and chicken and every type of seafood. Garcia said they also have specialty food and gourmet food such as kettle corn, ice cream, snow cones, smoothies and funnel cakes from over 40 vendors. The festivals feature award winning artists, crafts, jewelry and clothing. “We strive to make sure local artists are recognized,” said Garcia.
The festivals have also become family friendly offering activities and entertainment for children. One vendor provides art lessons and brings art materials, and there will also be hoola hoops located down by the band shell for kids and adults as well.
Entertainment starts at noon and plays through the end of the festival with a DJ mix playing through the breaks. With a new marketing team, Garcia said one of the things the winery is working on is changing up the actual format of the festival. “In the past we’ve had some of the same people play all the time,” said Garcia. “Now we are looking at how we can incorporate new artists.”
Garcia said the planning for the year’s festivals get started just as soon as the last festival ends in October. “Once the October festival is over, we begin planning,“ said Garcia. “We’re looking at bands, and we’re looking at how to improve the efficiency to make sure we’re making the most of all that we offer.” Garcia said the winery has expanded its grounds and parking. “We are constantly doing things to improve the event,” added Garcia.
Garcia also shared that the winery is testing online ticket sales. “Next year we will have online ticket sales as our primary means of selling tickets,” said Garcia.
Garcia said Linganore Winery has always been environmentally friendly and cares very much about giving back to the community. “We have been very environmentally conscious since our winery opened,” said Garcia. “Before being green was the thing to do.” Garcia said the winery makes every possible effort to work within the mid-Atlantic and keep things as local as possible. “We really make that effort to work with people locally,” said Garcia. The company also partners with several local non-profits to help support their goals and efforts.
For more information about the Winery and the festivals, visit www.linganorewines.com
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