Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:
Want to have some fun tonight? Hell yeah, you do! Well, I’ve got the perfect thing for you. Put on something fancy and head to North East – it’s time to look classy and slug some wine in a crowd.
If you’ve never been to North East’s Wine Fest, it’s an Erie spectacle you need to experience. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t even matter if you like wine. This Friday 4pm-9pm and Saturday 11am-9pm will be their 38th year doing this, and there’s something for everyone.
You like crafts? There will be 150 artists, or artisans, if you like to drink your wine with a pinky sticking out.
Is music your thing? They’ll have 20 bands playing across the two venues between Friday and Saturday. Twenty! Hometown favorites like The Breeze Band, The Groove, and my personal favorite – Daytona Beach 2000. You’ll find something you like.
I mentioned the two venues, too. That’s important. Gibson Park on Main Street is where you want to start out, get your feet wet, so to speak. You’ll get the little plastic, shot glass-sized sample cups full of wine and you’ll look around. It’s nice! That’s where the “artisans” are. The trees are perfectly lit up like a small town square should be. It feels like America at Gibson Park, and America feels right.
Pretty soon, you get some heat in your cheeks. You realize you’ve had a bunch of those little sipper cups of wine – too many to drive to the next spot but not nearly enough – and now you’re ready to kick it up a notch. You’re in luck. They have free shuttles to Gravel Pit Park!
Gravel Pit Park is where the professionals are, where you have the best people-watching opportunities. If all you want from Wine Fest is to catch a group of obnoxious Karens hooting and hollering on their one night out a month before they go home and battle with the laundry – go to Gravel Pit.
Wine Fest: come for the ambiance, stay because you’re drunk enough to think that grass is your pillow.
In case you thought I was kidding about the Karen thing, consider this scene from last year’s festival as recounted at the top of the goerie.com article:
“Until last year, Karen Steele, 45, of Harborcreek, had not missed a North East Wine Country Festival I’m more than 20 years…’The friends I usually go with blew up a picture of my face and took it with them to the Wine Fest and sent me photos of them having fun with Paper Karen.’ ”
Yes! Paper Karen won’t be there this year, but real Karen will.
Last thing to know about this event: if you aren’t a huge wine person, they also have hard cider and for the first time this year, Ironstone Meadery will have some kind of alcoholic honey juice, which is apparently called a mead. That has to be delicious.
Admission to Wine Fest is $8 at the gate or $6 in advance. Schedule a ride home in advance. Go there. Buy some bottles of local vino and enjoy yourself. It’s something good that happens in Erie.