Celebrating wine, eats, art and music

The excitement of summer is winding down, slowly transforming into the rich warm reds, golds and browns of fall foliage. It’s a beautiful time of transition from outdoor adventure to relaxation and introspection, a perfect time to contemplate all that is good about life. The 7th annual Salida Winefest, to be held Sept. 1 at Riverside Park in Salida, is the perfect occasion to welcome the comforting and vibrant joys of autumn.

Salida Winefest, sponsored by Heart of the Rockies Chamber of Commerce, is a celebration of wine culture, delicious food, inspiring art, toe-tapping music and the pleasures of mountain living. An anticipated event with an estimated 700 participants in 2017, “Winefest has been amazing in the past, but we are switching it up this year,” says Lori Roberts, Winefest coordinator and executive director of the chamber.

Due to requests from attendees, Salida Winefest will now showcase international wines in addition to the usual collection of locally produced wines from Colorado vineyards.

Lindsay Sutton-Stephens, a local artist and business owner, is thrilled to show her work again at Winefest. According to Sutton, Winefest had “humble but inspired beginnings.” In its infant year, she was the only vendor to present. “The goal of my art is to make people laugh and feel good. I call it contemporary folk art with a bit of levity.” She confesses a love of working with bright, vibrant colors – a perfect pairing with the many delectable and exciting flavors to be sampled at the event.

Salida Winefest takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, at Riverside Park in downtown Salida. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased at the chamber of commerce or at the gate. A ticket gets patrons entry to the event, a commemorative wine glass, a four-bottle wine tote and unlimited wine sampling.

Music commences at 1 p.m. with Big Meadow, Salida’s “organically grown” Americana band with their signature blend of Americana, alternative folk and hard-driving traditional music. From 3 to 5 p.m., Maggie Rains will perform. Rains is a Colorado native known for her rich, soulful sound – a tasty mix of blues, jazz and rock that will have attendees dancing in the grass.

Local food vendors will serve up tasty treats paired with featured wines. Vendors include The Divide, a gourmet food trailer; Stuffed, offering new American fare and German eats; and Whitewater Wraps, known for serving up high quality fresh food.

So grab your blanket and get ready to spend a lovely afternoon in a beautiful park next to the river, sampling a plethora of delightful flavors through wine, food, art and music.