Autumn brings many traditions: walks under falling leaves, carving pumpkins and tasting wines in a park in the northeast.
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the opportunity to taste wines from 10 local wineries returns. Wine Country Harvest Festival will return to downtown North East from Friday through Sunday.
Sponsored by the North East Region Chamber of Commerce, the event also known as the North East Wine Fest will feature live music, buskers, artisans and craftspeople, horse-drawn carriage rides, food and the queen of grapes. The activities will take place at Gibson Park at the intersection of routes 20 and 89 in the North East borough.
Jenny Sholtis, of Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards and a member of the regional chamber, said festival weekend was a great time to visit the northeast.
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“There is so much to discover and enjoy, from the beautiful vineyards and scenery to the bustling downtown area with a number of new stores,” she said in a statement.
Although entry to the park is free, visitors who wish to enter the wine tasting area must be at least 21 years old and purchase a tasting pass, organizers said. Passes cost $ 20 for Friday or Sunday, $ 40 for Saturday and $ 55 for the three-day weekend, organizers said.
For those who want to see a bit of the surrounding area on wheels and visit vineyards, Lake Country Bikes offers two Wine Country Rides. The Friday option is 15 miles with stops at seven wineries as well as Michael’s Pizza and Straw Hat ice cream. Saturday is 30 miles with 11 wineries and a dinner box from The Skunk & Goat, organizers said.
For more information on the rides, including registration and cost, call 814-347-5241 or visit bit.ly/lakecountrybikes.
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For those who want to stretch their legs, a Wine Fest Stride & Stomp 5K walk / run, sponsored by Downtown North East Inc. and North East in Bloom, begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at Gibson Park. Register for this event, which costs $ 20, at https://runsignup.com/Race/PA/NorthEast/StrideStomp5k.
Your wine enjoyment doesn’t have to end in September. October is Pennsylvania Wine Month, according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Board.
You can view a guide to Pennsylvania wineries, including nearly 300 wineries, on the Pennsylvania Winery Association website or at pennsylvaniawine.com and request that a copy of the guide be mailed to you.
The website also features vineyard profiles by region and allows you to create an itinerary of those you would like to visit.
Know before you go
What: Wine Country Harvest Festival, aka North East Wine Fest
When: Friday, 4 pm-8pm; Saturday, 11 am-8pm; and Sunday, 11 am-4pm
Where: Gibson Park, intersection of routes 20 and 89, North-East borough
Participating wineries: 6 Mile Cellars, Arundel Cellars & Brewing, Cellar ’54, Courtyard Winery, Driftwood Wine Cellars, Heritage Wine Cellars, IronStone Meadery, Penn Shore Vineyards, Presque Isle Wine Cellars and Yori Wine Cellars.
Cost: Free entry to the park. Must be 21 or older for a wine tasting pass, which costs $ 20 for Friday or Sunday, $ 40 for Saturday, and $ 55 for the three-day weekend. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Borough of North East building, First National Bank in North East, Courtyard Winery, Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards, and Yori Wine Cellars or online at the Chamber of Commerce website.
Info: 814-725-4262, www.nechamber.org
4-5 p.m .: Drunken sailors
5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m .: Danny & the dads
7:30 p.m.-9 p.m.: Nordic accents
11 a.m.-12.30 p.m .: Mark & Dan
1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m .: Riffriders Lite
3 pm-4:30pm: Acoustic Gypsys
5-6:30 p.m .: Steppin ‘Pappy
7-9 p.m.: La Brise
11 a.m.-12.30 p.m .: Italian dancers
12h30-14h: Maison du Rythme
2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Les Jays
Saturday and Sunday will also be animated by strolls, in particular a juggler, a magician, a balloon artist and a cartoonist.