Wine and Food festival set to return next summer

Event: Construction at Donkey Creek delayed annual event for calendar year

of the GatewayDecember 4, 2013 

The Gig Harbor Wine and Food Festival will return for its fourth year next summer.

The festival began in 2010 but was not held last year due to construction at the Donkey Creek restoration site.

Next summer’s event will include classes and demonstrations. In the past, there also have been celebrity chef cookoffs and onsite exhibitors.

Mary DesMarais, executive director of the Downtown Waterfront Alliance, said the 2014 event is still in the planning stages.

“I think it’s incredible to get everyone out in the community, into downtown,” said Beth Glein, who is running the marketing end of the festival.

At previous festivals, the celebrity cookoff, during which local chefs compete against celebrities, has brought in chefs from popular shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef, DesMarais said. So far, a visiting chef has not been announced.

There also will be classes that will focus on wine, beer and food. Wineries and restaurants from the area will set up tents. The vendors, restaurants and attendees are “the perfect combination,” Glein said.

The event will be sponsored by the Downtown Waterfront Alliance and the Gig Harbor Rotary Morning Club. The Rotary is involved in the planning process and will provide volunteer help, DesMarais said.

A percentage of what the festival earns will go toward the Downtown Waterfront Alliance, the morning Rotary and to build the Cushman Trail connection downtown.

This is the first year the Rotary has partnered with the festival. In the past, the Harbor History Museum was a sponsor. Although it’s not a part of the organization of the festival this year, the museum will host the event on its grounds.

Ticket prices have not been set yet, Glein said. The festival also is looking for sponsors, donations and in-kind donations, such as restaurant equipment, she said.

Reporter Karen Miller can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at karen.miller@gateline.com. Follow her on Twitter, @gateway_karen.

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