Driving the Chevy Traverse to Traverse City on August 20, a young man’s fancy will not turn to thoughts of the upcoming 2011 Wine & Art Festival, but rather, to wondering why Traverse and Traverse aren’t pronounced the same.
Ah, English; never mind.
Northern Michigan’s premier summer celebration of wine, art, food and music runs from 3 PM to 10 PM on the front lawn of The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, and will include (for $20 in advance and $25 at the door) wine (virtually every Leelanau and Old Mission winery), women (musicians Claudia Schmidt, Shout Sister Shout and Rachel Davis) and song (ditto).
Actually, I remember Claudia from the very first whippersnapper bar gig I had—a smoky, sultry, sort of jazzy folk singer who played a mean twelve string and an ethereal mountain dulcimer. Since then she’s traversed (pronunciation open to suggestions) Europe and appeared regularly on ‘A Prairie Home Companion’. I assume that like one of Bernie Rink’s Boskydel Vignoles, Claudia has matured with style.
The festival is a favorite of local winemakers, no question. According to Dan Matthies, owner of Chateau Fontaine: “I do a lot of events across the state and the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival is phenomenal. The organizers create a comfortable and manageable atmosphere for all. This festival has the potential to be astronomical for the area!”
Trust him: Potentiality is the lifeblood of vintners.
The event is mostly run by volunteers, which you can become one of by visiting the website and signing up.
In the earth-first Northern Michigan tradition, it’s also a Zero Waste Event, which means compostable glasses, plates and utensils as well as an admonition from on high to drain your samples, just like mom used to insist when I was a child: “Finish your wine, dammit; don’t you know there are kids going to bed sober in China?”
With a wide range of Michigan artwork for sale (and appreciation), Festival organizer Laura Herd rightly maintains, “This really is a landmark celebration of Michigan’s wine coast and culture.”
Lodging packages with area hotels are available as well through the festival website http://traversecitywinefestival.com.
For more information on the Traverse City Wine & Art Festival, please contact Andrew McFarlane at 231-421-1172 or email email@example.com.