The largest all-Missouri winetasting event will take place this weekend in Washington’s historic downtown area.
The 31st annual Downtown Washington Fine Art Fair & Winefest opens Friday night and runs through Sunday afternoon.
In addition to the winetasting, 28 Midwestern artists will have their work on display and for sale. Live music and a food court also are planned.
All of the activities will take place on and around the Main and Elm parking lot. The artists will be located on Main and Elm streets and the wineries will be under the Farmers’ Market pavilion. Live entertainment and the food court will be located on parking lots.
With a forecast calling for temperatures in the mid-80s, organizers expect a big turnout.
“This might be one of our warmest winefests ever,” said Aimee Frey, event coordinator for Downtown Washington Inc., festival sponsor.
“With good weather, we expect to see about 20,000 people over the three days,” she said.
Tents were being set up Friday morning and vendors were getting to work setting up their displays.
“It’s going to be a great event with lots to do for all ages,” Frey said. “We hope people will come down and enjoy the wine, view the amazing artwork or just sit and enjoy the food and music.”
The winetasting hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Friday; noon-10 p.m. Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission to the wine pavilion is $20 at the door and includes a souvenir wineglass.
Admission to the Art Fair is free. The hours are Friday, 5 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
More than 60 wines from 14 Missouri wineries will be poured for tasting, with winery representatives on hand to talk about their products.
All wines poured in the tasting will be available for sale, with a 10 percent discount on case purchases, mix or match.
Participating wineries this year include Adam Puchta Winery, Augusta Winery, Belmont Vineyards, Bias Winery, Blumenhof Winery, La Dolce Vita Winery, Montelle Winery, Noboleis Winery, OakGlenn Winery, Robller Vineyards, St. James Winery, St. Jordan Creek Winery, Stone Hill Winery and White Mule Winery.
The artwork will include watercolor paintings, photography, pottery, woodwork, jewelry, sculpture and clay.
New this year will be a Missouri Food and Wine 101 class. This event will feature four different food and wine pairing sessions where participants can learn while they sip and eat. Frey said participating wineries and restaurants are teaming up to offer a selection of wines with a specific menu.
A tent will be set up on Main Street where participants can talk to representatives from the winery and restaurant and learn why a particular wine goes well with certain food.
Additionally, there will be continuous entertainment throughout the weekend. The musical lineup is as follows:
Friday, 6 to 10 p.m., Anonymous X;
Saturday, 12:30 to 4 p.m., ECC Jazz Band; and 6 to 10 p.m., Dick and Jane;
Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., Chiaband.