46th Swiss Wine Festival sees record-setting crowds


Absolutely perfect weather and a hit lineup of performers and activities translated into record crowds at last weekend’s Swiss Wine Festival.

Wine Festival President Kirk Works said that more than 23,994 people attended the 46th Swiss Wine Festival, setting a new overall attendance record. This year’s attendance beat the previous 2013 record crowd by 1,524 people.

In 2016, the total attendance was 20,415 people; so the 2017 figures outdrew a year ago by 3,579 people – a 17.5-percent increase.

Three of the four days of this year’s festival saw larger crowds than last year, but there is no doubt that the spike in people this year was directly tied to the performance on Friday night by the legendary Charlie Daniels.

Friday alone set a new attendance record. There were 8,622 people in the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park on Friday, compared to 5,866 last year. That’s an increase of 47-percent; or 2,756 more people than in 2016. Works said that it was estimated that nearly 5,000 people attended The Charlie Daniels concert. Friday night’s concert was made possible with the financial support from Switzerland County Tourism Commission.

Thursday evening’s attendance was estimated to be 2,267. Down slightly over 2016, with a drop of just 154 admissions from the previous year.

Saturday’s attendance was up 5.5-percent over 2016, or 542 people. The total number who enjoyed the festivities on Saturday was 10,369, compared to 9,827 last year.

The crowds on Sunday also remained strong. This year on the final day of the festival, 2,736 people attended, which was an increase of 435 people compared to 2016.

“We would like to thank all those who helped in any way to make this year’s festival another one to remember,” Works said. “We hope to continue to be one of the Top 10 Festival in Indiana. However, we know it will hard to top The Charlie Daniels Band.”

Follow up and planning meetings are already underway for the next year’s festival. The 47th Swiss Wine Festival will be held on August 23rd-26th, 2018.