Organizers of the 44th Swiss Wine Festival invite everyone to the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park – “Where the Good Times Flow” – from Thursday, August 27th through Sunday, August 30th.
Paying tribute to Switzerland County’s Swiss wine-making roots, this year’s festival again promises to be a non-stop celebration that includes: food, fun, and festivities along the Ohio River.
Indiana’s largest four-day Wine Festival, the Swiss Wine Festival was named a “Top Ten Festival” by Top Events USA and the Fourth Best Food Festival in Indiana by Best of Indiana.
Switzerland County Tourism is the festival’s largest sponsor along with nearly 100 additional sponsors that make the top-notch festival possible each year.
Festival attendees are already filled with anticipation for another outstanding event, as organizers and volunteers have been working since the close of last year’s festival to insure that Switzerland County maintains a high-quality family celebration that honors their winemaking origins and their notoriety as the “Birthplace of the First Successful Commercial Winery in the United States.”
“The festival fosters both Switzerland County’s past and future,” said Kirk Works, Swiss Wine Festival President. “Not only does it provide a positive financial impact for local non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, but also helps drive economic development through tourism in Switzerland County.”
Again this year, visitors will find the traditional aspects of the festival firmly in place: the famous Wine Tasting Pavilion, which will feature 12 Indiana wineries; the Midwest Championship Grape Stomp; arts and crafts; Grand Festival Parade; riverboat cruises; beer garden; 5K river run/walk; poker run; cornhole tournament; cheerleading competition; live entertainment and more.
Burton Brothers Amusements will return again this year with new and bigger amusement rides.
There will be 12 Indiana wineries in the Wine Pavilion, and each will be offering samplings of their award-winning wines, with staff on hand to answer questions about their yield. Novice or connoisseur wine lovers can enjoy samples or purchase wine by the glass or bottle.
Participating wineries include: Buck Creek, Carousel, Cedar Creek, Ertel Cellars, French Lick, Harmony, Indian Creek, Lanthier, The Ridge Winery, Traders Point, Windy Knoll and Winzerwald.
Entrance into the wine pavilion is $18 per person and includes a souvenir wine glass and wine sampling opportunities.
The large beer garden with nightly entertainment will also available throughout the festival.
The festival will also include many varieties of food to suit anyone’s taste, so come hungry and try a variety of items.
On the entertainment front, this year’s Swiss Wine Festival entertainment headliner is ‘Parmalee’. The nationally-known band will be performing at 8:45 p.m. on Friday night, August 28th. The concert is free with a $5 gate admission. Guests are advised to bring lawn chairs. An autograph session with be held afterward.
Additional musical performances throughout the four-day event include: Midnight Special; Rick K and the Allnighters; Skallywags; No Where Bound; Remember Me Monday; Diamond Back; Megan Ruger; Cloggers; Saving Stimpy; Six Miles South; and Saffire Express.
Don’t miss the Cincinnati Circus Big Show; the Phoenix Fire & Flight Show; Chicago Boyz Acrobatics; the Tiger Talks live tiger show; Travel’N Riverboat Show; Rik Roberts Comedy Show and Barney Fife (impersonator).
For the kids, meet and greet with ‘Elsa & Friends’; Superheroes (impersonator); and Tina Riddle as Twynkle T. Clown balloon artist.
The Midwest Championship Grape Stomp will be held all weekend long and Burton Brothers Amusements will offer wristband specials each day of the festival.
The Grand Festival Fireworks show over the Ohio River will be on Saturday night, August 29th, starting at 10:20 p.m.
Continuing a Swiss Wine Festival tradition, gates will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 27th, with the Little Swiss Polka Dancers performing at 5:30 p.m. Hours of practice by local youth has been going on to uphold this traditional aspect of the Swiss Wine Festival.
Festivities begin on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the 5-K River Walk/Run; followed at 10 a.m. by the Grand Festival Parade through downtown Vevay.
The ‘Cliff Robinson Rolling Thunder Air Show’ with aerobatics and superb pilot skills will be on display on Sunday afternoon, August 30th over the Ohio River beginning at 3:45 p.m.
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. Youth under age five are free. Sunday admission is $4 for adults and $2 for youths 5-12. Youth under age five are free.
The Wine Pavilion is closed on Thursday, but is open from 3-10 p.m. on Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The Beer Garden opens Thursday from 5-10 p.m.; and will be open on Friday from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Hours on Saturday are from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m.; the Beer Garden will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The event is put on by volunteers, including the unpaid Swiss Wine Festival President and board of directors. A part-time paid festival coordinator also volunteers additional time and talents. While facets of the festival require professional labor, as many tasks as possible are completed through the volunteerism of the locals.
In 2013, over $40,000 collected by the festival went to 43 local clubs and organizations that provided helpers to work the festival. More than $7,000 was given through scholarships and prize money for festival events; and more than $180,000 went to Switzerland County for-profit businesses and/or individuals.
These amounts do not include figures for money spent by tourists through gas, food purchases outside the festival or lodging.
For more information, call (812) 427-9463.