We’re back! The Verde Valley Wine Festival will return to downtown Clarkdale on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Last year’s Verde Valley Wine Festival showcased the locally-sourced wine of more than 20 area winemakers, local beer breweries and distilleries, and 20 local specialty food vendors. More than 2,000 attendees from around the region gathered at the Clarkdale Town Park for wine and beer tastings, food, live music and family fun.
There are many things about the 2018 event that will look familiar to those who have attended in the past, and a few things that will be different. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s the same, and what’s changed.
What’s the same:
- We’re still partnering with local nonprofits. As in past years, the Festival will partner with area nonprofits. Last year, our nonprofit partner was Made In Clarkdale. This year, a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales for the event will benefit The Clarkdale Foundation’s philanthropic programs and the Arizona Vignerons Alliance.
- We’re returning to the Town Park in Clarkdale. The beautiful Town Park, located at 1001 Main Street in downtown Clarkdale, is the best outdoor venue in Clarkdale. It’s family friendly, centrally located, large enough to accommodate the event’s 2,000-plus visitors, and offers public restrooms, picnic tables and the historic gazebo. It’s really a no-brainer to return to this venue – we love it.
- We’re still focused on locally-made wine, food and beer. “Local” is the most important adjective to describe the Festival. The main goal of the event is to highlight all the great winemaking, fine food and craft beer being produced right here in the Verde Valley. While we have already closed the application process for local winemakers, we are still taking applications from local fine food purveyors, craft breweries and distilleries.
- We’re relying on local volunteers. Just like the previous two years, we could not make the Festival happen without a key ingredient: volunteers. We’ve been lucky enough to have organized, passionate, dedicated volunteers from the community to help us prepare for and run the event. And this year is no different.
- The event is one day only: Saturday. We asked for community feedback after last year’s two-day event, and the consensus was that two days was a bit overwhelming for most festival-goers and vendors. They liked that the Festival was Mother’s Day weekend, but not that it was on Mother’s Day itself. So, this year, we’re keeping the event to Saturday only, so attendees and vendors alike can enjoy Sunday with their moms.
- The VIP dinner and silent auction will be a special, separate event. While attendees enjoyed the fundraiser silent auction and VIP dinner with winemakers, we’re streamlining it this year to make it a separate event that doesn’t compete with the main Festival. The VIP dinner will be held the night before the Festival – Friday, May 11th, with a silent auction to benefit our partner nonprofits. Watch this space for more details on that!
If you’d like more information on becoming a vendor, sponsor, or volunteer for the 2018 Verde Valley Wine Festival, please send an email to David Baird, festival director, at David@theVVWF.com. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date on all the Festival news. And don’t forget to mark your 2018 calendar – you won’t want to miss this year’s Festival!