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Finger Lakes Wine Festival

A weekend of moderately tipsy revelry approaches, as wine and beer lovers prepare for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival in Watkins Glen.

The festival kicks off Friday (July 15) evening with fireworks, wine, and togas at Yancey’s Fancy Cheese Launch of the Lakes. Saturday (July 16) and Sunday (July 17) will offer over 600 New York wines for sampling, as well as food, arts and crafts, culinary classes, and wine seminars. There will be live music both days, with Virgil Cain and singer-songwriter Jared Campbell.

The Brewers Garden, a beer tasting feature of the festival, will this year showcase more beers than ever, including both local and national breweries. The Garden will be open only Saturday, but will offer beers from Ithaca Beer Co., Southern Tier Brewing Company, and Horseheads Brewing, Inc., as well as newcomers such as Buffalo Bills Brewery and Craft Brewers Alliance.

Admission to the beer area is $10 and is sold only onsite, accessible through the festival. It includes a 10-tab tasting wristband and a commemorative mini-pint glass. And if 10 tastes aren’t enough, $5 will buy an extra tasting wristband. The festival also offers reserved camping areas and free parking.

For information, call the Watkins Glen ticket office at 866-461-7223 (toll-free), or visit

Tickets are no longer available online, but can be bought over the phone. Prices are:

One Day Taster pass: Adv $30/Reg $35
Saturday or Sunday admission.
Only 21+ admitted.

Two-Day Tasters pass: Adv $40/Reg $45
Saturday & Sunday admission
Only 21+ admitted.

Designated Driver pass: $15
Good for Saturday or Sunday
Only 21+ admitted.

Minors: $15
Ages 6-20 One Day pass

-ian carlino