It’s back — with a little more panache and new ways to take a few wine-spent dollars from your pocket.
Festival of the Grape bursts into Oliver Sunday afternoon, with upwards of 4,500 expected for an afternoon of sampling local and regional wines, live music and, yes, the fun and chaotic grape stomp.
It’s one of three wine- and spirits-paired events scheduled for the weekend in the South Okanagan.
New for 2019 — A VIP area
This year brings some new twists to FOG’s Oliver Community Park event.
First is an opportunity for the event’s “very Important” guests — defined as those willing to kick in a few extra dollars.
FOG organizers have created a VIP area, where those very important guests — whomever they might be — can “enjoy mingling with subject matter experts, winery owners and local and regional contributors to this important community event.”
The VIP area will include “a variety of experiences throughout the day” including classes, nibbles, wine pourings and amenities.
For the rest of us, there’s an on-site Liquor Store, where a variety of wines on offer will be available to purchase as you depart the festival.
Festival of the Grape uncorks at noon and pours through 5 p.m. For those unfamiliar with Oliver, Oliver Community Park is located on Park Place Dr.
But there’s also Cask & Keg
Here’s a thought — why wait for Sunday’s fun?
Get started early Saturday as the Cask and Keg Festival delivers a celebration of local breweries, distilleries and cideries.
The fun, relaxed evening will include live entertainment provided by Knacker’s Yard and tasty morsels created by a variety of food trucks.
Tickets for this fun evening — scheduled for 6 to 10 p.m. at the Oliver Community Park — are $20 each and available at olivercaskandkeg.ca.
Tickets include a souvenir glass and three tasting tickets. This is an adult only event, which means you must be 19 years or older to purchase. All ticket holders will be be required to present two pieces of ID at the front gate.
If you hurry, you might also be able to catch up to a combo ticket for both events. The cost is just $40.
And finally, there’s garlic
If drink alone isn’t your thing — or you’re really into garlic — check out the 8th annual Garlic Festival at Hester Creek Winery.
Between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, enjoy a taste-filled day of wine, garlic and the arts.
The event involves more than 20 local garlic growers and artisan crafters, along with food carts and live music.
This is also a fundraiser in support of the Oliver Elementary School Farm to Table program.
Admission is by donation.