Chamber explores wine festival

Published 12:29 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Members of the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce discussed and established a committee to explore the possibility of a wine festival in Lunenburg County.

Chamber member Chris Craft suggested the idea, noting that wine festivals are popular around Virginia, and that Kenbridge used to have the Strawberry Festival annually.

Craft suggested the Lunenburg County Airport as the ideal location for the festival, citing that the area would be contained by a fence.

He said the event could include bands that are either native to Lunenburg or have members who live in Lunenburg. Craft’s suggestion was to seek corporate sponsors in order to keep ticket costs to a minimum.

Lunenburg County Planner and Chamber Recording Secretary Glenn Millican suggested that the county consider having options for cider in addition to wine.

Craft said there would be a cost from the county for an event permit, and a permit for alcohol distribution needed from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC).

Chamber member and Kenbridge Fire Department Chief Richard “Dickie” Harris emphasized corporate sponsorship, saying that the burden to spend on a large event like this should not fall on county companies that may already be facing financial hardship.

“I would hope that we get some corporate sponsors instead of trying to do this on the back of local merchants,” Harris said. “Because I can tell you local merchants are hit heavy every day here, and they don’t want to say no and they can’t afford to say yes.”

Craft suggested heading an exploratory committee that could begin in December and reconvene in February to decide whether to hold the festival in 2019 or wait until 2020.