Are you ready, Harborites?
We hope the answer is yes, because the biggest event on the downtown calendar takes place this Saturday on Main Street: The 2012 Safety Harbor Wine Festival.
Wine Fest features vendors, arts and crafts tables, live music and more than 100 different wines; it has evolved from a neat idea to raise money for the community into one of the biggest events of its kind, with crowds growing every year.
“Attendance is usually around 12,000, but last year we had an increase to almost 15,000 people,” city special events coordinator Joe Cooper said. “I’m sure this year will be a success as well.”
City officials are prepared for the massive crowds that will be surging through downtown Saturday night, although they were still looking for volunteers as of Thursday afternoon.
“You have to have a force of volunteers to make an event like this happen,” co-founder Perry Giancola of Ed’s Fine Wines said. “It’s a total group effort.”
City Manager Matt Spoor reports that as far as traffic goes, the construction at the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard and Main Street should be all clear by the time the event starts.
“The detour is scheduled to be open (Friday) night,” Spoor said of the intersection via email.
“Some of the sidewalks and cleanup may not occur until next week, but our goal is to have Main Street and South Bayshore open for traffic…in time for Wine Fest.”
Sponsors for this year's Wine Fest include the Tampa Bay Times, Budweiser, Ed’s Fine Wines, Montes Premium Wines and Norton Wines.
If you plan on attending the 2012 Wine Fest event, here’s a list of things you need to know if you go:
Time: The event runs from 5-11 p.m. and will take place on Main Street between Eighth Avenue and the intersection of Bayshore Boulevard.
Cost: Admission is free, but glasses of wine cost $3 and $5. Separate tickets must be purchased for the wine, but vendors will accept cash. There will be an ATM on site.
Parking: According to the city, spaces are available at the Marina off Bayshore Boulevard, in any of the designated public parking lots in the area and on side streets.
What's Prohibited: No coolers are allowed
What's Allowed: According to Cooper, pets are permitted but it’s not recommended to bring them.
Transportation: Local cab companies have been alerted of the event and will make themselves available for rides home for those who have indulged in alcohol consumption, according to Cooper
For any more information on Wine Fest, or to volunteer to help out, contact Joe Cooper at 727-724-1572.
Will you be at Wine Fest? Share your pictures by uploading them to Patch's Pics & Clips gallery!