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Posted May 17, 2012 | comments Leave a comment

Wine and dine

This year 18 Virginia wine vendors will offer wine tastings at the Front Royal Wine and Craft Festival. — Courtesy photo

The Wine and Craft Fair in Front Royal attracts area residents and tourists each year. — Courtesy photo

Food, crafts will be uncorked in downtown Front Royal

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

You don't have to be an oenophile to have a good time in downtown Front Royal on Saturday.

That's because in addition to wine tasting, the Wine and Craft Festival will feature several musical performances, more than a dozen food vendors and numerous crafters.

The festival is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Main and Chester streets, said Niki Foster, president of the Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

The festival, in its 26th year, started as a mushroom festival, and then evolved into the wine and mushroom festival before becoming focusing on wine and crafts, Foster said.

"We have 18 wineries -- all Virginia, of course -- and over a hundred crafters," she said.

Crafters will be selling everything from jewelry, to hand-painted wine glasses, to pottery, to clothes, to artwork and more, according to the festival website. Food vendors will offer a variety of dishes, including crabcake sandwiches, funnel cakes, shish kabobs and hamburgers, according to the website, and several restaurants will be open, too.

Foster said there will be two different entertainment venues: the gazebo area and the courthouse lawn. Musical groups will include Souled Out, Barcode and Circus of Sound, according to the Chamber of Commerce's website.

There will be children's activities, and a shuttle will run from the Royal Phoenix parking area, 400 Kendrick Lane, the festival website states.

Wineries participating this year include North Mountain Winery, Peaks of Otter Winery, Rappahannock Cellars, Shenandoah Vineyards, Lazy Days Winery, Naked Mountain Winery and Chateau Morrisette, according to the chamber's website.

Beautiful weather is on the forecast, Foster said.

"Wine is a big industry in Virginia now, and it's ever growing, so we certainly want to participate in that," she said. "We certainly are excited about this event and all that it does to bring attention to the wine industry in Virginia."

General admission to the festival is $2, with children 5 and under free. Wine-tasting tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate, the chamber's site states.

For more information visit www.wineandcraftfestival.com, or call the chamber at 635-3185.

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