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Adirondack Wine and Food Festival sees a sold out return

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Attendees of the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival pause for a "cheers" at the sixth annual festival in June. After two years of cancellations due to COVID, the festival returned to a sold-out crowd, with over 6,800 people in attendance.

LAKE GEORGE — After two years of cancellations due to COVID, the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival returned to a sold-out crowd, with over 6,800 people in attendance.

In the event’s sixth year, a $4.1 million economic impact was made on the Lake George Region, according to a news release.

The 2022 Adirondack Wine & Food Festival was held Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, at Charles R. Wood Park in the village of Lake George. The at-gate ticket price was $45 and included a souvenir wine glass for wine tasting, a complimentary program and festival bag.

Of the 6,837 total attendees, 89% either planned their trip to Lake George specifically to attend the festival or chose their dates based on when the festival occurred, according to the news release.

“We introduced or brought back 2,740 people to Lake George who had either never been or hadn’t been back in 2-plus years,” according to the release.

Festival attendees came from 33 different states. While in town, 84% either shopped at local stores, visited local attractions or took part in activities in the region, while 78% said they ate or drank at a local restaurant or bar while in town. Lodging in the area was also impacted by the influx of visitors, with 61% of ticket holders staying between one and 14 nights in an area hotel.

Sasha Pardy, festival owner and co-owner of the Adirondack Winery, the presenting sponsor, said she is proud of the June festival’s turnout.

“After two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we weren’t sure what to expect; so we were thrilled when we sold out Saturday before the weekend hit, especially considering the 90-plus degree temps we had,” said Pardy. “I am so proud of the impact this event has on the economy of the Lake George region and our small family-owned producer vendors. I am looking forward to doing it bigger and better yet again next year.”

This year’s Adirondack Wine & Food Festival featured nearly 120 New York state wine producers, craft beverage makers, artisan food vendors and food trucks, the most ever gathered for the festival. New attractions were also added including a VIP cabana experience with tents provided by Adirondack Safari, along with a stilt walker, magician, dance troupe and musician for entertainment.

Festival-goers also enjoyed a revamped culinary tent with eight area chefs and mixologists from places like Farmacy Restobar in Glens Falls and Cantina Saratoga in Saratoga Springs. They competed head-to-head in a hidden basket competition both days and conducted hourly culinary or mixology demonstrations using foods and craft beverages from festival vendors.

This year’s festival also welcomed back Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks as a third time festival beneficiary.

Through a portion of ticket sales revenue, the sale of Saratoga Water and Origin brand water bottles, raffle ticket sales for baskets filled with items donated by vendors, and donations from attendees, $22,967 was raised for Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Bill Moon, CEO of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks, said the festival helped facilitate record numbers in donations.

“We raised almost $23,000 to help secure mentors for the 152 youths currently on our waitlist. Every child deserves a mentor, and the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival is helping us make that a reality. These funds will make so many opportunities and experiences possible for the children in our community,” Moon stated.

Jana DeCamilla is a staff writer who covers Moreau, Queensbury, and Lake George. She can be reached at 518-742-3272 or jdecamilla@poststar.com.

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