Festival of the Vine is for food, wine lovers
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media September 6, 2012 11:22AM
Choose from many fine wine selections for purchases at Festival of the Vine Sept. 7-9. | Courtesy of Geneva Chamber of Commerce
Festival of the Vine
♦ Sept. 7-9
♦ State and North Fourth streets, Geneva
♦ Tickets, $1
♦ (630) 232-6060
Updated: September 6, 2012 11:22AM
It’s time to celebrate the fall harvest at Geneva’s Festival of the Vine.
The annual end-of-summer festival, which is in its 31st year, will be from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday in downtown Geneva.
The centerpiece of the festival is the Flavor Fare food tent, which offers international and seasonal cuisine, prepared by Geneva restaurateurs, said Laura Rush, communications manager with the Chamber of Commerce. The food is paired with a wide selection of wines.
The Festival of the Vine began as a celebration of things grown on the vine. There was a grape stomping one year and a gourd display another.
“They’ve tried different things to celebrate the fall harvest,” she said. “The mainstays have always been the restaurants. This is really a chance for Geneva restaurants to showcase themselves, and of course the wine pairings.”
There will be 18 wines of varying price ranges to choose from, she said.
Food will be from several restaurants and includes everything from eggplant Parmesan to Italian beef to grilled oysters and fried ice cream.
Along with food and wine, another mainstay of the Festival of the Vine is the musical entertainment. Entertainment Friday includes folk trio Under the Willow, Billy Elton doing the music of Elton John and Billy Joel, and classic rockers Assisted Living. Saturday’s musical lineup includes Swings ‘n’ Arrows, country rockers Lincoln Don’t Lie, and pop-rockers Hiline Band. Sunday features the Blind Roosevelts.
Back again is the flower market with flowers, pumpkins, gourds, Halloween decorations and more by Pure Gardner; and the arts and crafts show.
“Because we did not have one at Swedish Days, I think people are really looking forward to this one,” she said. “This one is more focused on holiday items. This one always seems very well attended.”
That runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There will be a Harvest Stage set up with lots of activities, music and demonstrations.
“We have some main stage, and then we have some new people who have jumped up and come up with some creative wine events or something to do with the fall harvest,” she said.
For example, The Little Traveler shop will set up 10 tasting stations on the courthouse’s front lawn and offer samplings from several wineries; and many area restaurants will hold their own wine tastings as well.
Back again is a Kids’ Corner on the north side of the courthouse lawn. In addition to crafts, children can join in coloring the tabletop mural and decorate the sidewalk with chalk in front of the library.
“It started out much smaller than what it has become now. We had to order a bigger tent for our Flavor Fare, because last we year we were at capacity and busting,” Rush said. “And this year we have just as many restaurants. We have some new restaurants … and a lot of the restaurants that have been with us from the beginning have changed up their menus this year. It’s a risk to try something new.”
Food will range in price from one to five tickets, and wine will range from four, six or 10 tickets per glass.
Complimentary trolley rides will take you between festival events, she said, and there will be free horse-drawn carriage rides.