Big crowds are expected for the 32nd annual Downtown Washington Fine Art Fair & Winefest.
The festival opened Friday night and runs through Sunday.
Billed as the largest all-Missouri winetasting event, organizers expect upward of 20,000 visitors over the three days.
“It’s such a unique festival, right here in the heart of Missouri wine country, and there’s truly something for everyone,” said Aimee Frey, event director for Downtown Washington Inc., sponsor.
Frey said more than 60 wines from 14 Missouri wineries will be poured for tasting under the Farmers’ Market.
Hours for the winetasting are Friday, 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
All wines poured in tasting will be available for sale, said Frey.
Participating wineries this year include Adam Puchta Winery, Augusta Winery, Balducci Vineyards, Bias Winery, Blumenhof Winery, Holy Grail Winery, Montelle Winery,
Noboleis Winery, Robller Vineyards, St. James Winery, St. Jordan Creek Winery, Stone Hill Winery, Wenwood Farm Winery and White Mule Winery.
Complimentary cheese and crackers will be provided in the tasting area under the wine tent, with a variety of snacks and gourmet foods on sale in the festival area.
Admission to the winetasting is $20 at the door, and includes a souvenir wineglass.
Visitors also will have an opportunity to win a special wine basket prepared by a participating winery.
In addition to the wine, Downtown Washington Inc. will present the annual Art Fair featuring a juried selection of 23 Midwestern artists.
The artists will be set up on Main Street from Lafayette to Cedar, and on Elm Street, from Main to Second.
“Items for sale include watercolor paintings, photography, pottery, woodwork and much more,” Frey said
Admission is free. The hours will be Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wine, Food Sessions
Returning for the second year will be the MO Wine MO Food wine and food pairing sessions.
Frey said participants can choose from four different food and wine pairing sessions, each featuring a local restaurant and Missouri winery.
These sessions are scheduled for Saturday, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.
There also will be continuous entertainment throughout the weekend.
Friday’s lineup kicked with off with Crazy Aunt Linda from 6 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, The Kay Brothers will perform from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sunday’s entertainment will be the ECC Jazz Band.
New this year will be dancing demonstrations, Frey said.
On Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., visitors can join professional Bachata and salsa dance instructors, and on Sunday, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., people can learn the art of polka and swing dancing.
Street musicians also will play throughout the weekend.
Frey said the weather forecast looks great with temperatures in the 80s and only slight chances for a rain shower.
“We invite everyone to come down and check out all of the different activities,” she said.