35th Swiss Wine Festival is again a huge success with family fun along the river


The 35th Swiss Wine Festival wrapped up on Sunday evening in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, but not before thousands of people made their way to the park to enjoy all of the festivities during the four-day event.

President Kirk Works and his crew of volunteers kept the entire event running smoothly – which was no easy task as conditions ranged from hot and sunny to an unexpected downpour of rain on Saturday afternoon.

Through it all, festival attendees enjoyed all sorts of activities, beginning with the dog pageant on Thursday evening; the Run for the Rose and Teen Princess Pageant; to the Balloon Glow, laser light show, and music all during Friday.

Saturday kicked off with the 5-K Walk/Run; and then everyone settled in for the Grand Festival Parade, which was led by Grand Marshal Dr. Suellen Reed, State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

There was a mixture of local floats and high school bands. Politicians were also well represented; as were all of the area candidates for the Swiss Ambassador title, which was determined later on Saturday, with Switzerland County’s Sara Craig earning the Female Swiss Ambassador title and scholarship.

There was basketball and bike riders. Baked goods and grape stompers. Stone throwers and craft shoppers. All of the music and entertainers on the Main Stage and the Ogle Stage kept things lively for all; and strolling performers also amazed the crowd.

Saturday night saw some rain fall on the festival; but it wasn’t enough to deter a large crowd from watching the Fireworks Show that was shot over the Ohio River.

Sunday brought more hot and sunny weather, but crowds still came to watch the Great Canoe Race; the high school and junior high cheerleader competitions; and again enjoy all of the fun of the festival.

With folks coming from all over the Tri-State; to a large collection of local friends and neighbors, this year’s Swiss Wine Festival certainly lived up to its “festive” name.

Now comes the cleanup and the reverting of the festival grounds back to the Paul Ogle Park. Volunteers are probably exhausted, but each and every one should feel great about the wonderful contribution they made to this community and its citizens.