The official tally is in. More than 5,700 attended the 2017 Adirondack Wine & Food Festival held June 24 and 25 at the Festival Commons in Wood Park. “I am excited to say that our 3rd annual event had our highest ticket sales and attendance numbers to date,” Festival Owner Sasha Pardy says in a July 7 press release. Not only is this a record for the Wine & Food Fest, it is an attendance record for the venue, which began hosting events in the autumn of 2014.
The Adirondack Wine & Food Festival is brought to Lake George by Adirondack Festivals, LLC, founded in 2014 by Pardy, who co-owns the Adirondack Winery. The event brings craft beverage and artisan food producers to the Charles R. Wood Festival Commons for a try-before- you-buy farmers market-type event. The 2017 Festival featured more than 80 vendors, which included wineries, cideries, distilleries, food producers, food trucks and sellers of specialty merchandise.
Breaking attendance records is nothing new for the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival. The inaugural event drew nearly 3,000 in 2015 and grew to attract 5,000 in 2016. “We had a much better handle on what the Festival Commons could handle capacity-wise this year,” said Pardy, noting that they cut off Saturday ticket sales at the 2016 Festival out of concern they had hit capacity. “This year, with nearly 90 vendors on the grounds, attendees were spread across more booths, cutting down on lines, so we could sell at-the-door tickets all weekend long.”
A post-event survey found that the bulk of the 2017 crowd, 54%, were Millennials and nearly half of survey respondents report they drove between two and four hours to attend. Many booked lodging at area hotels, ate at local restaurants, shopped and visited area attractions creating an estimated economic impact of $1 million.
For 2017, organizers added additional Take a Break tents that offered shaded seating, a Misting Tent for cooling down and a tent for children with games and craft projects provided by Fun Spot. Planning is already underway for the next Adirondack Wine & Food Festival, which is scheduled for June 23 – 24, 2018.