Downtown Washington Inc.’s modified Art Fair & Winefest, dubbed The Winefest Pick-Up Party, brought in about 25 percent of the revenue the nonprofit typically receives from the full-scale event, which is its largest fundraiser.

Like many nonprofits, Downtown Washington Inc. has been postponing, redesigning or canceling its fundraisers given the social distancing and other restrictions brought about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised winefest, held July 11 at the Downtown Washington Post Office, featured wine baskets that could be preordered and picked up or purchased on site with a drive-thru.

“We did not know what to expect in terms of turnout,” said Executive Director Tyler King. “Eighty baskets were preordered and the extra baskets that were made to be sold the day of, sold out.”

Last year, the Art Fair & Winefest, which typically features food and drink vendors, wine tastings and live entertainment, drew about 20,000 people over the three-day event at the Farmers’ Market.

Downtown Washington’s Sunset on the Riverfront, held in June, fared better, bringing in about 85 percent to 90 percent of the revenue it normally generates, King said. The event was modified to include greater spacing between vendors. The July event was not as well attended, which is typical given the higher temperatures and people out of town on vacations, King said. That and the coronavirus held revenue to about 50 percent of what the event normally brings in, he said.

King said the nonprofit continues to modify events on its calendar. Next up is Foodstock. The food drive is scheduled for Aug. 29, and King said the nonprofit is considering a drive-up, drop-off, similar to the Winefest Pick-Up Party.

“I anticipate we will have to make modifications to other future events,” King said. “Right now, we plan to have the event as is and then have a plan B in mind in case we need to modify it.”

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