From its modest beginnings in 1981 as a small street fair powered by cords thrown out of building windows to the exciting regional event it is today, WineFest, like fine wine, continues to improve with age. WineFest’s growing venues now include three locations on over 30 acres: Gibson Park, one of the original downtown festival venues, Heard Harvest Park, located in the heart of historic downtown North East, and Gravel Pit Park, the largest festival site.
WineFest is truly a community event, encompassing the entire town of North East for three full days. In addition to the more than 150 companies and organizations that must come together to make this festival happen, WineFest relies on approximately 800 volunteers each year to man the wine tents, souvenir booths, admission tents, and more. Proceeds from the festival go to fund nonprofit groups in the area, such as the McCord Library, Downtown North East (DNE) and the North East Arts Council.
Part street fair, part arts festival, part music festival, part harvest festival: today’s WineFest hosts an average of 20,000 visitors from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario, and beyond who come to sample the best wines from the region and experience this charming slice of Americana.