By Kendal Miller
Switzerland County Tourism
Organizers of Indiana’s 43rd Swiss Wine Festival invite the public to Enjoy our Grape Heritage this August 21-24, 2014, as they pay homage to Switzerland County’s Swiss wine-making roots. Held at Paul Ogle Riverfront Park in Vevay, the festival is a non-stop celebration that includes food, fun and festivities along the scenic Ohio River.
Named a Top Ten Festival by Top Events USA and the Fourth Best Food Festival in Indiana by Best of Indiana, the Swiss Wine Festival was recently nominated by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development as one of the American Bus Association’s 2015 Top 100 Events. Judging took place in June with winners to be announced in September.
“The Swiss Wine Festival president, festival coordinator, and the board of directors are excited about the nomination. We’d loved to see our event make this Top 100 list,” said Kendal Miller, Switzerland County Tourism executive director and Swiss Wine Festival board member. Switzerland County Tourism is the festival’s largest sponsor along with nearly 100 additional sponsors that make the top-notch festival possible each year.
Located in Switzerland County between Cincinnati and Louisville—and about an hour and half from Indianapolis—four days of non-stop activities, food, and entertainment attract wine lovers and visitors from across the country. With a population of around 1700, the people in and around the town of Vevay (pronounced Vee-vee) are experts at throwing a grand festival. The famous Wine Tasting Pavilion includes 12 Indiana wineries on site that offer tastings of their award-wines or purchases by the glass or bottle.
Visitors won’t be disappointed as organizers and volunteers have been working since the close of last year’s event to insure that Switzerland County maintains a high-quality family celebration that honors their winemaking origins and their notoriety as the Birthplace of the First Successful Commercial Winery in the United States.
“The festival fosters both Switzerland County past and future. Not only does it provide a positive financial impact for local non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, but also helps drive economic development through tourism in Switzerland County,” said Miller.
The event is put on by volunteers, including the unpaid Swiss Wine Festival president and board of directors. A part-time paid festival coordinator also volunteer’s additional time and talents. While facets of the festival require professional labor, as many tasks as possible are completed by the volunteerism of the locals. In 2013, over $40,000 collected by the festival went to 43 local clubs and organizations that provided helpers to work the festival. Over $7,000 was given through scholarships and prize money for festival events with more than $180,000 going to Switzerland County for-profit businesses and/or individuals. The amounts do not include figures for money spent by tourists through gas, food outside the festival or lodging.
In 2014, visitors will find the traditional aspects of the festival firmly in place—the famous Wine Tasting Pavilion, Midwest Championship Grape Stomp, arts & crafts, Grand Festival Parade, riverboat cruises, beer garden, 5K river run/walk, poker runs, cornhole tournament, cheerleading competition, live entertainment, and more. Debuting in 2014 are new and bigger amusement rides by Burton Bros. Amusement.
Twelve Indiana wineries in the wine pavilion offer samplings of their award-winning wines with staff on hand to answer questions about their yield. Novice or connoisseur wine lovers can enjoy samples or purchase wine by the glass or bottle. Participating wineries include Buck Creek, Carousel, Cedar Creek, Ertel Cellars, French Lick, Harmony, Indiana Creek, Lanthier, The Ridge Winery, Traders Point, Windy Knoll and Winzerwald. Entrance into the wine pavilion is $15 per person and includes a souvenir wine glass and wine sampling opportunities. A beer garden is also available.
The event includes many varieties of cuisine to suit anyone’s taste so Miller recommends that guests come hungry and try a variety of items.
This year’s Swiss Wine Festival entertainment headliner is Diamond Rio, performing on Friday, August 22 beginning at 8:45pm. The event is free with a $5 gate admission with guests advised to bring lawn chairs. An autograph session with be held afterwards.
Additional musical performances throughout the four-day event include: Midnight Special, DiamondBack, After Midnight, Gringo Starz, Ken & Mary Turbo Accordions Express, CEF Michael, Madison Community Band, The True Voice of “Elvis”, MonkeyBone/Pinch-n-Roll, and the SKALLYWAGS. For the kids, “rock out” with Rockasaurus Rex, a 7-foot dinosaur who loves to read, write, and rock along with Captain Crunch & the Cereal Killers.
Solution Actions Sports will keeps guests on the edge of their seats as they bring out the best in both FMX (Freestyle Motocross) and BMX (bicycle motorcross) entertainment for all ages. The FMX Team defies gravity by jumping over 80 feet through the air performing some of the biggest stunts possible on a motorized machine.
A Swiss Wine Festival favorite, Mark Abbati as the living statue “JoyUNSPEAKABLE” blends movements and characteristics of the Masters of Silent Communication with various dances and statue poses.
Upholding a Swiss Wine Festival tradition, gates will open on Thursday, August 21 at 5:00 p.m. with the Little Swiss Polka Dancers performing at 6:00 p.m. Hours of practice by local youths had been undertaken to uphold this traditional aspect of the Swiss Wine Festival entertainment.
Festivities begin on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. with the Grand Festival Parade in downtown Vevay. Locals and visitors line the streets of Main Street to kick-off the celebration utilizing the Enjoy Our Grape Heritage theme. Floats, marching bands, classic cars, and area businesses and organizations “put on the dog” to commemorate the festival.
A brochure with a complete list of activities and events is downloadable from the Swiss Wine Festival website located at http://www.swisswinefestival.org. Entry into the festival and parking is free on Thursday, and $5 per day on Friday-Saturday with children 5-12 years for $3. Youths under age five are free. Sunday admission is $4 for adults and $2 for youths 5-12. Youths under age five are free.
Festival times are Thursday, August 21 from 5-10 p.m.; Friday, August 22 from 3 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, August 23 from 10:30 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, August 24 from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. There is a small parking charge near the festival grounds and limited free parking in downtown Vevay.
The Wine Pavilion is closed on Thursday, but is open Friday, 3-10 p.m., Saturday, 11a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-5:00 p.m. The $15 per person admission fee includes wine sampling opportunities and a souvenir wine glass. The Beer Garden opens Thursday for Happy Hour from 5:00-10 p.m. and will reopen Friday from 3:00 p.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Additional activities, performers, and events can be found on the Swiss Wine Festival website at www.swisswinefestival.org. For more information telephone 812-427-9463. Reservations for riverboat cruises can be made by calling 800-435-5688.
Information on lodging, local businesses and tourist activities can be found at www.switzcotourism.com or by calling Switzerland County Tourism at 812-427-3237 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Swiss Wine Festival and Switzerland County Tourism-Vevay, IN are on Facebook.
By Sarah Shadday
Mallow Run Winery
Mallow Run Winery in Bargersville, Indiana, will once again be the setting for an evening of the soulful music of a local favorite, Jennie DeVoe. This will be Jennie’s sixth concert at the winery, and her performance never fails to enchant and energize her devoted audience. The show is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, 2014, at 7 pm.
Jennie and wineries seem to go together well; you can catch her the weekend before on June 7 at the Vintage Indiana Wine Festival held in Military Park in downtown Indianapolis. This festival, which is celebrating its 15th year, is a celebration of food and wine and brings together over 25 Indiana wineries, including Mallow Run.
Indianapolis-based Jennie DeVoe is known not only for her captivating voice and music, but her personality and humor that shine through on stage as well. Her critically-acclaimed fifth CD, Strange Sunshine, was released in 2009 and quickly caught people’s attention, making her a celebrated artist both at home and away. Her work has been described as a “fresh, edgy, raw throwback to the soul records that Otis and Aretha used to make” and “a record for listeners who love good lyrics.”
Concertgoers will be treated to an evening of great music, local food vendors, and the award-winning wines of Mallow Run Winery. Patrons are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs and enjoy a relaxing evening on the lawn with great music and friends.
Mallow Run Winery is located at 6964 West Whiteland Road, Bargersville (two miles east of State Road 37), in Johnson County. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 day of show. Children 12 & under are free. Tickets may be purchased online by visiting www.mallowrun.com or by visiting or calling the Mallow Run tasting room at 317-422-1556.
By Nancy Sartain
Richmond/Wayne County CVB
In mid-June 2014, eastern Indiana and western Ohio will welcome thirsty tourists with the launch of the Heartland Wine & Ale Trail, Indiana’s first such trail.
Visitors to the local wineries and craft beer establishments will find their experience to be a refreshing retreat offering unique, personal experiences for both the wine and ale enthusiasts. All of the wineries and breweries are family-owned and are small production enterprises where tasting means talking directly with the owner, winemaker or brewmaster.
It’s all about quality, not quantity, along the Heartland Wine & Ale Trail.
There will be 10 stops along the trail:
- J & J Winery in Richmond.
- Big Dawg Brew Haus in Richmond.
- New Boswell Brewery in Richmond.
- Campbell House Brewery & Inn in Richmond.
- Roscoe’s Tap Room in Richmond.
- Wolves Head Brewery in Muncie.
- Wilson Winery in Modoc.
- Kennedy Vineyard in New Madison, OH.
- The Winery in Versailles, OH.
- Quarter Barrel Brewery & Tap Room in Oxford, OH.
Visitors can pick up an official trail passport map at any of the above locations. The Passport is the ticket to great benefits and discounts along the trail. The Passport needs to be validated at each stop noted on the passport to be eligible for a commemorative keepsake. The passport can be turned in at the last stop to receive the memento.
Spend a couple of days or a weekend winding through the charming towns of eastern Indiana and western Ohio to visit these ten locally-owned wineries and breweries. The Heartland Wine & Ale Trail is easily accessible from I-70 and US Highways 40, 35, and 27.
For more information, visit the Richmond/Wayne County CVB Web site at http://visitrichmond.org/, or call 800-828-8414.
By Priscilla Hataway
Easley Winery is proud to announce that its locally-made Traminette wine has been awarded Best of Class at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Easley winemaker Jeff Martin said, “I grew up working in Indiana vineyards, so bringing home this honor for grapes grown in Indiana makes this award even more meaningful.”
With over 5,500 wine entries, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world. They have brought together the most distinguished judges in the country to compare wines in multiple price ranges and varieties to determine the best of the best in each category that appeal to all walks of life. For full 2014 competition results, visit http://www.winejudging.com.
Easley Traminette is no stranger to high honors. It was awarded White Wine of the Year, Best of Class, and Double Gold at the 2013 Indy International Wine Competition and holds three other 2013 Gold medals from prestigious competitions across the country. “We focus on creating exceptional wines and that effort has gained us national recognition”, says second-generation owner Mark Easley.
Easley Traminette boasts floral aromas and fresh citrus notes. This semi-dry style of Traminette is a delicious complement to Indiana pork tenderloin and it is recommended serving chilled. Traminette was adopted as Indiana’s signature wine in 2009 and continues to grow in popularity. Easley Traminette can be found at all Indiana Meijer locations, select Indiana Marsh stores and packaged liquor locations, as well as Easley Winery in downtown Indianapolis. For more information on this wine or to find retail locations in your area, visit http://www.EasleyWinery.com.
Easley Winery is located at 205 North College Avenue in Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-636-4516.
Things to do in Indianapolis
For the week of Dec. 30, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014
15 Public Events in Indianapolis and Indiana
- TUE: 7th Annual New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball at Union Station
- MON-WED: 2014 Indy Auto Show at the Indiana Convention Center
- TUE: New Year’s Eve Rock ‘n’ Roll Ball at the Hyatt Regency
- TUE, SAT: Indiana Pacers NBA Basketball at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
- MON-TUE, THU-SUN: Winter Fun Days at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
- TUE: Grand Caribbean New Year’s Eve Party at Indiana Grand Casino
- TUE: Family New Year’s Eve Event at the Indiana State Museum
- SAT: College Men’s Basketball at Indiana University
- TUE: ‘CIROC the New Year’ at Regions Bank Tower
- SUN: Super Sunday Indy Automotive Swap Meet at the State Fairgrounds
- MON, FRI: Indiana Ice USHL Ice Hockey at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
- THU: Harlem Globetrotters Live at the Allen County Coliseum
- TUE: ‘Countdown to Noon’ at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- SAT-SUN: Winter Warmup Weekend at Mallow Run Winery
- SUN: ‘Going…Going…Gone’ at the IndyFringe Theatre
To see thousands of upcoming event listings and things to do in Indianapolis and Indiana, visit our main Web site at http://aroundindy.com/, or visit AroundIndy.com Mobile on your smartphone or tablet PC at http://aroundindy.com/mobile/mobile.php.