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Gettysburg, Littlestown wine fests promise variety

Calling all wine lovers.

If you're looking to fill up your summer sipping calendar, Adams County has you covered with events like the Littlestown Wine Festival and Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival.

Start your wine festival schedule with the second Littlestown Wine Festival, noon to 6 p.m. May 14 and 15 at the Littlestown Community Park, 151 E. Lakeview Dr. The festival's first year was such a success that its organizers, who coordinate the event with the Littlestown Historical Society, decided to change it from a one-day to a two-day affair.

"People have been locked in their houses (for winter), and they're ready to get out and enjoy themselves," said event chairperson Sharon Lentzner.

Participating wineries include Adams County Winery, High Rock Winery, Starr Hill Vineyard and Winery, Sand Castle Winery, Brookemere Winery, Buddy Boy Winery and Naylor Wine Cellars.

This year's event will include more craft vendors and a wider variety of food vendors, including Sherri's Crab Cakes, Gateau Monique, The Sweet Patch, The Food Chick, Rita's Concessions and the Alpha Fire Company.

For those with a sweet tooth, Parfections Handmade Gourmet Chocolates from Cockeysville, Maryland will give a presentation on how to pair chocolate with wine.

Live music from Boom Boom Jones, Todd Eckhart Band and Al Parsons will add to Saturday's atmosphere, while Sunday's lineup includes The Willys, Distinctive Soul and Vertigo Red.

The first wine festival drew people from as far as Baltimore and Fredericksburg, Virginia, Lentzner said. She believes the event will drive visitors to local businesses.

"It kind of puts Littlestown on the map," she said. "It should draw some people into some of the other restaurants. Littlestown seems to be the kind of town that really pulls together, and I think that this is just something that's going to help the whole town."

Tickets cost $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Tickets for attendees age 12 to 20 years old and adults over 21 who don't wish to drink cost $10. Children age 12 and under are admitted for free.

Proceeds benefit numerous nonprofit organizations in Littlestown, including the historical society, the Thunderbolt Foundation, the Littlestown Women's Club, the Rotary Club, Friends of the Littlestown Library, Alpha Fire Company, the Lion's Club, the Littlestown Jaycees and the Littlestown Garden Club.

Last year, the event raised about $11,000, Lentzner said, a far cry from what organizers were expecting.

"It was phenomenal," Lentzner said. "We were told that the first time you do a wine festival, if you break even or don't go in the hole, you've done well. I think we did exceptionally well, and this year we're hoping to do more."

There are dozens of winebeer and cider festivals planned throughout the summer months in Pennsylvania, but Adams County can be your destination for topping off your summer sip-a-thon. One such event is the 12th Gettysburg Wine and Music Festival, noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 10 and 11 at the Gateway Gettysburg Complex, 95 Presidential Circle.

"You can pitch a tent, kick back, get a bottle of wine, take in the music and do some shopping," said Carrie Stuart, president of the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce.

This year's festival will be larger than past years, Stuart said, with at least 27 wineries, including Hauser Estate Winery, Allegro Vineyards, Juniata Valley Winery and Olivero's Vineyard. It's not all pinots and sauv blancs though - cider and mead will also be available.

Agin' Cajuns' Back Porch, Route 30 West Seafood, Sherlock's Pitt Beef and Uncle Moe's Soul Food are among this year's food vendor crowd.

Entertainment acts are not yet finalized, but Stuart said the live music will include "anything from old time rock and roll to country; anything to get people up and dancing." Arts and crafts vendors will also populate the festival grounds.

For guests attending the event for the first time, Stuart warns that there is always at least one rainy day, so "be prepared to come for a muddy mess."

Details are still being ironed out for the festival, but tickets are on sale now. One-day tickets purchased in advance are $20, and tickets at the gate cost $25. Two-day tickets bought before the event are available for $30.

Youth and designated driver tickets are $12, and children age 12 and under get in for free. Group discounts are available for parties of more than 15 people.

The Gettysburg festival's proceeds benefit chamber of commerce programs. The organization makes a donation to rabbittransit, Stuart said, as well as Gettysburg High School's Future Farmers of America club, which helps with post-event clean-up efforts.

Local firefighters, who assist with parking, raise money by passing a boot around to attendees, Stuart said, and the Wounded Warrior Project will have a booth set up at the event.

Both festivals welcome chairs, portable tents and blankets, and guests will receive souvenir wine glasses with their admission. No pets or outside food are permitted, and lastly, do not ruin your fun day out by forgetting to bring proper ID.