47th Swiss Wine Festival opens tonight

As the 47th Swiss Wine Festival gets underway tonight (Thursday, August 23rd) at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, the community also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Wine Festival. It was 1968 when a group of dedicated volunteers organized and pulled off one of the great festival openings in state history.

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It’s ‘T’ time at the Swiss Wine Festival!
Tiaras.
Tigers.
Travis.
Thunder.
As the 47th Swiss Wine Festival gets underway tonight (Thursday, August 23rd) at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park, the community also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Wine Festival. It was 1968 when a group of dedicated volunteers organized and pulled off one of the great festival openings in state history.
Today, that tradition continues; having been nurtured for nearly half that time by the dedication of President Kirk Works, who passed away in March of this year, and leaves a legacy of this community hosting one of the biggest and best loved events in the state.
So the 2018 festival is one where the community looks behind to celebrate it’s past; eyes the future with great anticipation; and for the next four days — will celebrate with friends and family a truly unique event.

TIARAS

There will be plenty of them handed out tonight on the opening night of the festival.
This year’s Edelweiss Princess was selected through an essay contest this year, and the festival committee has announced three finalists: Lean Anders, Riley King, and Calleigh Powell. This year’s princess will be announced immediately following the Opening Ceremonies tonight, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the Main Stage. This year’s Edelweiss Princess will receive a $2,000 scholarship, with the two runners up receiving $500 scholarships.
At 7 p.m. tonight the Little Miss and Little Mister Swiss pageant will be held on the Main Stage. A relatively new event at the festival, everyone will want to see some of the county’s little residents decked out in Swiss costume.
Following the Little Miss and Little Mister contest, around 7:30 p.m. the Pre-Teen Princess pageant will be held on the Main Stage. For girls age 12-14, this year there are 11 contestants (see their photo on page A-6 of today’s edition).
The night will conclude with another crowning, as the Edelweiss Teen Princess, for girls age 14-16, is announced on the Main Stage starting at 8:15 p.m. There are seven contestants in the Teen Princess pageant this year (their photo can also be found on page A-6 of today’s edition).

TIGERS

Featured at some of the most prestigious circuses int he world, including the Moscow State Circus in Russia, Judit and Jurgen Nerger will present the largest and most spectacular presentation of Bengal and Siberian tigers traveling North America today at this year’s Swiss Wine Festival.
The performances will take place on the Midway all four days of the festival.
All of the tigers traveling with the Nergers were born in captivity here in the United States, and participate in educational shows performed by the Nergers.
When they are not performing in the arena, the tigers will be on display throughout the day for public viewing.
Performances at this year’s Swiss Wine Festival include: tonight (Thursday), at 8 p.m.; tomorrow (Friday), at 5:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at noon; 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8:45 p.m.; and on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

TRAVIS

The Swiss Wine Festival tradition of providing nationally-known entertainment continues this year as country music superstar Travis Tritt takes the Concert Stage at the festival tomorrow (Friday) night.
Opening acts Blake Billman and Dustin Huff will perform at 6:45 and 7 p.m.; with Tritt taking the state at 9 p.m.
More than 27 years after Travis Tritt launched his music career, the Southern rock influenced artist continues to display strong sales activity, sell-out shows, and stay true and relevant to country music fans across the globe. Continuously performing shows and withholding a heavy appearance schedule, Tritt is proving to be unstoppable.
Tritt’s musical career started when the young Marietta, Georgia native incorporated his lifelong influences of Southern rock, blues and gospel into his country during a honky-tonk apprenticeship that led him to Warner Bros. in 1989. Over the course of a decade, Travis released seven studio albums and a greatest hits package for the label. His 1990 debut Country Club and its succession of hits put him in the vanguard of the genre’s early ’90s boom, dubbing him as one of “The Class of ‘89,” which included country music superstars Garth Brooks, Clint Black and Alan Jackson; all whom dominated the charts in the early ‘90s.
“Country Club,” “Help Me Hold On,” “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” and “Drift Off to Dream” peaked at numbers two and three on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts; all which led for Tritt to win Top New Male Artist award from Billboard and the CMA Horizon Award (now known as the New Artist Award). Additionally, in 1991, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) marked Tritt’s debut album Country Club as certified platinum.

THUNDER

‘Thunderstruck’ is AC/DC the way you remember it — and the band is coming to this year’s Swiss Wine Festival as the headline entertainment on Saturday night.
The band will take the Concert Stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, and will perform songs from all of the eras of AC/DC.
Recreating the “Thunder From Down Under” throughout the Southwest, Midwest, Southern and Northeastern United States …Thunderstruck is constantly adding new cities and aims to please every crowd, playing the songs you know and love from all eras of AC/DC.
Dave Moody screeches out the ball breaking vocals of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, covering all the hits and deep cuts from 1975’s “High Voltage,” to 2014’s “Rock or Bust.”
Caleb White brings the sound and image of Angus Young to the stage, complete with a school boy uniform and Gibson SG.
The rhythm section of the band is comprised of drummer Jerry Lawson, bassist Chris Jones, and rhythm guitarist Kevin Feller, who keeps the music rocking and solid with smooth precision.
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Toss in traditional favorites like the Grape Stomp and plenty of entertainers traveling around the festival grounds; an area fill with great food vendors; the Grand Festival Parade through downtown on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.; and much, much more — this year’s Swiss Wine Festival promises to be one of the best yet.
For more information, contact the Wine Festival office at (812) 427-9463.
All of the information you need about this year’s Swiss Wine Festival can also be found in the special commemorative special section, which is included in today’s edition of the newspaper.