Wine, craft fest draws crowd to Front Royal

More than 15 vendors served wine Saturday at the 35th annual Wine and Craft Festival in Front Royal. Justin McIlwee/Daily

FRONT ROYAL — Crowds were bustling and wine was flowing as people from all over the country converged downtown to take part in the 31st annual Wine and Craft Festival.

The festival, which was held on Main Street, featured more than 15 wine vendors, over 50 craft vendors, food and live entertainment galore and enough wine to keep the crowds occupied well into the evening.

Benefiting from the crowds, along with food and craft vendors, were local businesses that stayed open during the event. One such business, the Virginia Beer Museum, saw people come to visit that didn’t even know the museum existed.

“Last weekend, when we had the Family Fun Day, it attracted a completely different genre of Front Royal that was here,” said Michael Williams, assistant director of the museum. “The genre today is a little different, it’s more of a wine crowd, more younger couples or older couples. For someone like us, it’s really cool because we get a lot of the foot traffic that comes by and people are like, ‘Hey, I didn’t know that place was there.’ And they come in and check it out for the first time.”

The wine vendors came from all over Virginia, but a few vendors, such as North Mountain Winery and Fox Meadow Vineyards, were from the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Dan Mortland, proprietor of Fox Meadow Vineyards, explained the importance of having a wine festival so close to home.

Festivalgoers line up at the Naked Mountain booth to sample wine. Justin McIlwee/Daily

“It’s a very favorable forum for us to get our product out,” Mortland said. “We’ve been coming here for nine years now and we see customers coming here for up to a 300-mile range. They come down to the area and have a chance to sample local wines and it’s a positive thing.”

Contact staff writer Justin McIlwee at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or jmcilwee@nvdaily.com

Aaron Blow of the Winchester-based Gallows Bound performs during the Wine and Craft Festival. Justin McIlwee/Daily