The Ninth Annual Montrose Wine and Food Festival takes place May 10-12, and there are a few changes for this popular event, including a way for residents to increase the amount of money the festival donates to local charities.
During the festival's eight years, it has raised more than $300,000 for local organizations, including the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club and Voice for Children (CASA).
This year, the festival board has decided to do even more, and enlisted roughly two-dozen Montrose restaurants to support its efforts. On April 26, select restaurants will participate in Dine Out for Kids, donating a percentage of their sales to a list of recipients including the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club, CASA, Kid's Aid and Shoes for Kids.
“Dine Out for Kids is really neat and I'm excited to see what kind of response it gets from the community, and hopefully the restaurants involved experience additional patrons,” said Justin Kiehl, executive director of Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club.
In the past two years, the May festival has provided the club with approximately $26,000 each year, Kiehl added.
Businesses participating in the April 26 event include: Amelias, Asii, Remingtons at the Bridges, Backstreet Bagel, Blue Table, Chili’s of the Black Canyon, Coffee Trader, Cowboy Ciao, Dominos Pizza, Guru’s Restaurant, Great Harvest Bread Company, Horsefly Brewery, McDonald’s (both locations), Pahgre’s, Rib City Grill, RNR Sportsbar, Simmer Food and Wine, Sushitini, Little Caesar’s and Pancake House.
Gift certificates and pledges are available from Fiesta Guadalajara, El Jimador and Ted Nelson’s Steak House, as well.
“The idea is to try and get people from the town out on a specific night…and to build excitement for the festival,” festival boardmember Gary Bean said.
The new event takes place just weeks before the three-day festival; the festival, too, has some changes.
This year, the venue for Saturday's grand tasting has moved from last year’s downtown location to the lawn at the Montrose Pavilion, right outside the gates of the Montrose Botanical Gardens.
“We've always explored different venues to keep it fresh,” Bean said. “We wanted to see if we could make the downtown area work, but logistically, it's too difficult.…. With the lawn of the Pavilion next to the botanical gardens, you'll have the beautiful view of the San Juan Mountains and can tour the gardens at the same time you're tasting.”
The festival’s May 12 tasting is open to the public; it runs from 2-5 p.m., and costs $45 per person. Tickets are available at The Coffee Trader and Corks in Montrose.
The festival's Thursday, May 10 Bubbles at the Bridges, a private sponsorship reception, includes live music from Jordan Carls and Friends, as well as a live and silent auction.
Friday, May 11, brings Dine Out Montrose, with people encouraged to eat at the local restaurants, many providing specials and discounts for the evening; then, Then from 9 p.m. to midnight, there is the Shake Your Money Maker event featuring DJ Justin Covington at Turn of the Century ($5 cover charge).
In conjunction with the festival, the Black Canyon Ascent Race takes place Friday morning; the Mission to Ride bicycling race kicks off early on Sunday, May 13.
“There is an opportunity to participate in tasting wines from all over the world … and in that same weekend, if you're wanting to do other things, if you're a runner or biker, it's a pretty nice package for people that are active and like to get out,” Beans said.
For more information about the Montrose Wine Festival and links to websites for the Black Canyon Ascent and Mission to Ride, please visit www.montrosewineandfood.com.