2020 Tri-Cities Wine Festival Cancelled
What would have been the 42nd Annual Tri-Cities Wine Festival has been cancelled for this year, according to Ted Davis, president, Tri-Cities Wine Society, the event host. At its August board meeting, the wine society’s board of directors concluded that hosting this large, community-wide event in November is not possible this year with the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings for the foreseeable future. The annual judged competition and public tasting event typically attracts more than 1,000 attendees, including wineries and their representatives, from across the Pacific Northwest.
The festival has been the longest, continuously judged wine festival in the Northwest. It was started in 1979 by Coke Roth, a Tri-Cities attorney and past president, Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau – now Visit Tri-Cities – and his friend, Maury Balcom. The event was to be a fundraiser for a copier for the bureau, and a way to promote Northwest wines and the Tri-Cities as a tourist destination. Wanting to move in a different direction after 10 years, the bureau offered the wine society the opportunity to host the event. It has done so for now more than 30 years. While the event has been in different locations and at different times, for more than 10 years, it has been at the Three Rivers Convention Center in November.
“In the months ahead, our wine society board of directors, will continue to monitor COVID-19 restrictions and evaluate them as they pertain to our wine festival and its future,” said President Davis. “However,” Davis added, “the society will resume its monthly events for its members and their guests as soon as the needed clearance and guidance are given to do so.” Updates will be on the Tri-Cities Wine Society’s website, www.tricitieswinesociety.com, which also has information about past festivals, including its history, participants and winners.