Craig Woodruff put his wine glass into a wine caddy he wore around his neck, then picked up a golf club and tapped a ball straight into a hole at the end of a portable putting green.
“And I haven’t spilled a drop!” exclaimed Mr. Woodruff, 43, of Akron, as he stood at the Heather Downs Country Club’s kiosk at SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo early Saturday afternoon during the Glass City Wine Festival.
Mr. Woodruff was one of about 2,000 people who turned out for the festival, which featured 11 Ohio wineries and more than 30 other vendors offering gourmet food, wine accessories, and furniture.
“It’s a very good festival, eventful, very well put together. People have been very friendly. It was well worth a two-hour drive,” Mr. Woodruff said.
Sporting a St. Patrick’s Day shamrock necklace, Ann Nichpor, 48, of Oregon said the entire setup impressed her.
“I am happy, and I am going to be super happy when I get a couple more glasses,” Ms. Nichpor said while sipping red wine from the Hillside Winery of Gilboa, Ohio. “I like that it’s open and that there’s a nice wine selection, and that everybody has been friendly so far. So I expect it to be a happy St. Paddy’s weekend.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Glass City Wine Festival
Margaret Lawrence, the event coordinator from the Finger Lakes wine region of western New York, said the festival benefits Therapy Dogs United of Erie, Pa., a nonprofit agency providing visits by certified therapy dog teams in western Pennsylvania and western New York. The festival was sponsored by Lilly Broadcasting LLC, a privately owned broadcasting company, and by Therapy Dogs United, she said.
Shortly after the event’s 1 p.m. opening, a line of about 200 people snaked through the convention center’s entrance. About a hundred $25 tickets to the afternoon session remained unsold, but a $30-per-ticket evening session had sold out on the Internet about two weeks prior, said Ashley Kinkaid, 26, of Waterville, a ticket seller at the door.
About 45 minutes into the afternoon event, hundreds of people milled around the vendors’ stands, with many forming short lines in front of wine-pouring vendors.
“This is a worthwhile festival and hopefully they’ll do it again next year,” Melissa Kadow, a sales representative of Firelands Winery in Sandusky, said while pouring wine for event patrons. “People came to drink and buy. They are not only drinking, they are buying bottles of wine. The cash register has been going the whole time.”
Ms. Lawrence said organizers plan to hold another such festival in Toledo next March 1.
Contact Mike Sigov at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.