LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. — For a second year in a row, the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival was postponed.
The annual wine and food event was originally scheduled for June 26 and 27, 2021, at the Lake George Festival Commons in Lake George Village.
The 2020 festival was rescheduled in April at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to September, and then canceled in August of 2020.
This spring, organizers from Adirondack Festivals LLC announced they made the difficult decision to postpone the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival to June 25 and 26, 2022.
Current regulations from the New York State Department of Health would require the festival to limit attendees to no more than 1,000 people per day. This would result in a lower attendance than the first festival in 2014.
Combined with the additional costs of security, crowd control, cleaning and other COVID-19 safety compliances, the festival has decided that moving the event to 2022 is the best option.
“The Adirondack Wine & Food Festival is an event meant to bring thousands of people together to sample the amazing wines, craft beverages and artisan foods that New York’s producers have to offer,” festival owner Sasha Pardy said in a press release. “The safety protocols in place discourage touching products, risk of cross contamination, standing in lines, congregating, etc.
"These protocols also increase vendors’ expenses and would severely change the flow and feel of the event that our attendees have come to know and love over the years.”
“We would rather wait for the COVID-19 situation to improve than put on an event that cannot meet the expectations of our attendees, vendors, and the community,” Pardy added. “We hope that our loyal attendees mark their calendars for the 2022 event!”
In the meantime, festival organizers will get back to work planning next year’s event and continuing their fundraising efforts to benefit the festival beneficiary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks.
This organization that connects local children with caring adults who provide mentoring, tutoring, community experiences and more, has had its ability to raise money ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the festival beneficiary, BBBS was to receive a portion of every ticket sold and proceeds from water and merchandise sold at the festival. In 2019, the last time the festival occurred, this fundraising totaled more than $15,000; money that will be greatly missed, especially with BBBS having to cancel numerous other fundraising events already this year, according to executive director Bill Moon.
“While we are saddened that we will not be able to partner with the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival this year, we remain hopeful about all the good our partnership will do for the youth of our area in the future,” Moon said in the release. “For years, the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival has stepped up to the plate for our kids and their support has had a tremendous impact on everyone who works with our organization.
"We proudly stand with the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival in all their endeavors, and we remain committed to do everything we can do to help make next year’s event better than ever!”
Anyone who can afford to help BBBS in their time of need is greatly encouraged to donate online at adkwinefest.com/bbbs.
The Adirondack Wine & Food Festival features New York’s best wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries, artisan food vendors, food trucks and more. Held with Lake George as its backdrop, the festival is a try-before-you-buy farmer’s market style event that also generates a large economic impact on the surrounding region.
The 2019 festival generated a $3.5 million economic impact, with more than 4,000 hotel room nights generated in the area – and this year’s festival attendance was expected to surpass 7,250. Survey data shows 85% of festival attendees plan their trip to Lake George specifically around the dates of the festival.
Gina Mintzer, executive director of the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce said in the release, “We will miss the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival this year, but it makes sense to hold off until 2022 when organizers can safely offer this event in a way that attendees and vendors will both enjoy to the fullest. We know the festival organizers are acting in the best interests of our community.
"This festival introduced a broad spectrum of local craft beverage and food makers to thousands of patrons for six years. We can’t wait to welcome the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival back in 2022. In the meantime, local craft beverage and food producers are open, and people can visit and support these establishments. We encourage people to check out the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail at adkcraftbev.com.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and economy. It is more important than ever to support them.”
Tickets to the 2022 festival are expected to be available around the holiday season this year.
“We hope our past and future attendees continue to support the festival as we collectively look ahead to a brighter future,” the release said.
More information about the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival is available online at adkwinefest.com.