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It is wine festival season in Central Pennsylvania. Wine events offer a great opportunity to try wines from many different wineries, shop vendors and enjoy entertainment.

Here are a few tips to help make the most of the season.

Take note wine event promoters, listing wines available at each event is helpful as well as a map of the event.

Tips for attending a wine festival

• Make sure to invite several of your favorite friends to the festival. It makes for a fun festival to be surrounded by friends.

• Go to the event website and see which wineries are in attendance. This can help you decide which events you want to attend.

• Check to see what they allow in. Some will allow you to bring a pop-up, tent, cooler, food, etc. Make a day of it and enjoy the day.

• Buy your tickets early. Most wine festivals offer discounted pricing if you purchase early.

• Arrive early to obtain the best spot and lay down base camp. I like to be near the music to make the day even more enjoyable.

• If there is a map, plan your strategy. Do you have favorite wineries you want to visit first? I usually taste first and make a list of my favorites. At the end of the day I will make my purchases to take home.

• If the lines aren't long, ignore previous tip and make the purchase now. Many festivals have a coat check type system where you can pick up the wine at the end of the day so you don't have to carry it around.

• Take time to eat. You don't want to get dehydrated.

• There are often vendors selling things — save that for last and concentrate on the tasting. Do you really need those wine glass necklaces? Maybe a nice piece of jewelry will suffice.

• Have a designated driver or call a car service so you can enjoy the festival to its full potential.

• Take your favorites home to enjoy later. Many of the wineries have come far away and are not available in your local liquor store. Plan your departure a little before it ends or a little after so you are not in a traffic jam.

Enjoy a day trying something new and attend one of the wine festivals this season. Cheers!

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Wine festivals

Already happened

Wine in the Woods

Tickets: $40

May 16-17

5950 Symphony Woods Road

Columbia, Md.

www.wineinthewoods.com

Taste of Pennsylvania Wine and Music Festival

Tickets: $25

May 16-17

York Fairgrounds

334 Carlisle Ave., York

www.yorkwinefest.com

Great PA FlavorFest

Free admission

May 23 and 24

Mount Hope Estate

2775 Lebanon Road, Manheim

www.parenfaire.com/flavorfest/

Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival

Tickets: $85

May 29-31

The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem

77 Sands Blvd, Bethlehem

lehighvalleyfoodandwine.com/

SIP Wine in the Park

Tickets: $75

May 30

Musser Park, Lime & Chestnut St., Lancaster

www.sipwineinthepark.com

Coming soon

Great Grapes

Tickets: $25

June 6-7

13401 Beaver Damn Road

Hunt Valley, Md.

www.uncorkthefun.com

Brandywine Food & Wine Festival

Tickets: $25

June 13

Greater Chester Valley Sports Association

137 Line Road, Malvern

www.pawinefestival.com

Jazz & Wine Festival

Tickets: $30 for a weekend pass

Sept. 11 — Sept. 13

5300 N. Front St., Harrisburg

www.dauphincounty.org/government/Parks-and-Recreation/Festivals-Special-Events/Pages/Jazz-and-Wine-Festival.aspx

Gettysburg Wine & Music Festival

$20 in advance, $25 gate admission

Sept. 12 — Sept. 13

95 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg

www.gettysburgwineandmusicfestival.com/

Wine in the Woods Festival

Tickets: $12 in advance $15 gate admission

Sept. 18

3113 Centennial Road, Hanover

717-632-8715

Yorktoberfest

$20 Wine $40 Beer

Oct. 10-11

York Fairgrounds

334 Carlisle Ave., York

www.yorktoberfest.com

The Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival

Oct. 16–18, 2015

Valley Forge Casino Resort

1160 1st Ave., King of Prussia

609-398-4450

www.gourmetshows.com

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