43rd Swiss Wine Festival now just three weeks away

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Organizers of the 43rd Swiss Wine Festival invites all of Switzerland County to ‘Enjoy our Grape Heritage’.

This year’s festival is now just three weeks away, and will be held beginning on Thursday, August 21st and running through Sunday, August 24th in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park.

This year’s festival will feature many of the traditional events that visitors have come to love; along with many new and exciting features that will delight festival goers of all ages.

For the third straight year Friday night of the festival will feature a concert by a nationally-known artist.

This year, the country music group ‘Diamond Rio’ will take the festival’s big stage, performing from 8:45-10 p.m. The only admission to the concert is the admission paid to enter the festival.

This year, visitors will find the traditional aspects of the festival: the Wine Tasting Pavilion; the Midwest Championship Grape Stomp; arts and crafts; the Grand Festival Parade on Saturday morning; riverboat cruises; beer garden; the 5-K river run/walk; poker runs; cornhole tournament; cheerleading competitions; and more.

Debuting this year are new and bigger amusement rides by Burton Brothers Amusement.

A total of 12 Indiana wineries will be in the festival’s wine pavilion this year, offering samplings of their award-winning wines with staff on hand to answer questions.

Participating wineries include Buck Creek, Carousel, Cedar Creek, Ertel Cellars, French Lick, Harmony, Indiana Creek, Lanthier, The Ridge Winery, Traders Point, Windy Knoll and Winzerwald.

The Wine Pavilion is closed on Thursday, but is open Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday noon-5 p.m. The Beer Garden opens Thursday from 5-10 p.m.; and will reopen Friday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Along with Diamond Rio, additional musical performances throughout the four-day event include: Midnight Special, DiamondBack, After Midnight, Gringo Starz, Ken and Mary Turbo Accordions Express, CEF Michael, Madison Community Band, The True Voice of “Elvis”, MonkeyBone/Pinch-n-Roll, and the SKALLYWAGS.

For the kids, “rock out” with Rockasaurus Rex, a seven-foot dinosaur who loves to read, write, and rock along with Captain Crunch and the Cereal Killers.

Solution Actions Sports will keeps guests on the edge of their seats as they bring out the best in both FMX (Freestyle Motocross) and BMX (bicycle motocross) entertainment for all ages. The FMX Team defies gravity by jumping over 80 feet through the air performing some of the biggest stunts possible on a motorized machine.

A Swiss Wine Festival favorite, Mark Abbati as the living statue “JoyUNSPEAKABLE” blends movements and characteristics of the Masters of Silent Communication with various dances and statue poses.

Upholding a Swiss Wine Festival tradition, gates will open on Thursday, August 21st at 5 p.m. with the Little Swiss Polka Dancers performing at 6 p.m. Hours of practice by local youths had been undertaken to uphold this traditional aspect of the Swiss Wine Festival entertainment.

A brochure with a complete list of activities and events is downloadable from the Swiss Wine Festival website located at http://www.swisswinefestival.org. Entry into the festival and parking is free on Thursday, and $5 per day on Friday-Saturday with children 5-12 years for $3. Youths under age five are free. Sunday admission is $4 for adults and $2 for youths 5-12. Youths under age five are free.

Festival times are:

– Thursday, August 21st from 5-10 p.m.

– Friday, August 22nd from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.

– Saturday, August 23rd from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

– Sunday, August 24th from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

– There is a parking fee near the festival grounds and limited free parking around town.

Additional activities, performers, and events can be found on the Swiss Wine Festival website at www.swisswinefestival.org. For more information telephone (812) 427-9463 or e-mail info@swisswinefestival.org. Reservations for riverboat cruises can be made by calling 1-800-435-5688.