POWHATAN –The streets of Powhatan County’s village area will be overflowing with good cheer this weekend as the Powhatan Chamber of Commerce hosts its 17th annual Festival of the Grape.
Always one of Powhatan’s most well attended community events, this year’s festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 in the Historic Courthouse Village, located at 3887 Old Buckingham Road, said Angie Cabell, the chamber’s executive director.
With every ticket purchase, visitors will be able to relish in a variety of wines from 24 different wineries, including Barboursville, Default Vineyards and Mattaponi. Continuing last year’s success, the festival will also have distilleries, including Powhatan-based Three Crosses Distillery, as well as some new faces with Catoctin Creek, Chesapeake Bay Distillery and Vitae Spirits. Fine Creek Brewing, also from Powhatan, will have its own booth, and there will be other craft beers and ciders.
The day will also include dozens of booths where participants can shop for unique items and food vendors, including Dank Eats, JiJi’s Frozen Custard, River City Woodfire, Sherry’s Crabcake and Smokin’ Pigs.
Guests can bring chairs and sit on the courthouse lawn to rest and mingle with friends or get up and dance to the music of R&B soul band En’Novation, Cabell said.
Festivalgoers should be on the lookout for a roaming photo booth where they can capture memories with friends and family, Cabell said.
“We also are going to have a big purple sofa in the middle of the street with photo props, and we encourage people to pop up there,” she said. “And as always, the LOVE sign has been a big photo op the last couple of years.”
Each year, the festival brings in 7,000 to 8,000 guests and 1,225 volunteers and gives back $10,000 to community organizations. It is a fun community event, drawing a diverse crowd of people out to enjoy the day. Cabell said she was excited when she learned the Powhatan High School Class of 1994 was holding its reunion at the festival.
“I think it is just a celebration. It is a time to gather with friends. It is a good time of the year – not too hot like the summer,” Cabell said. “The holidays have not started, so you are not stressed out yet. You are just really looking to get together with family and friends in a great setting doing fun things. It is a perfect combination.”
Cabell gave a huge part of the credit for the Festival of the Grape’s continued success to the community partners who work with the chamber of commerce, including the sheriff’s office, civic organizations such as the Powhatan Lions Club and the Powhatan Rotary Club, and different student organizations.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the gate for adults 21+ and cover admission and all tastings for the festival. Tickets for youth ages 13 to 20 are $15 or $20 at the gate. For tickets and a complete list of vendors and wineries, visit https://www.powhatanwinefestival.com. Tickets can also be purchased at local C&F Bank locations.
Parking will be available at the Powhatan Rescue Squad’s field, Powhatan United Methodist Church, and at Powhatan Middle and Powhatan Elementary schools, where a shuttle will run throughout the day. No outside food or drinks are allowed.
Laura McFarland may be reached at Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com.