The third annual Adirondack Wine & Food Festival held in June at Charles R. Wood Festival Commons in Lake George was the best attended thus far, organizers said.
Officials said nearly 6,000 tickets were purchased.
Adirondack Festivals owner Sasha Pardy said, “We sold nearly 6,000 tickets to the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival and had more than 5,700 people in attendance at the event over the two days. We also broke all past attendance records at the Festival Commons.”
In 2016, the festival sold about 5,200 tickets and 5,000 people attended, she said.
“We are particularly proud of this achievement, as our 2016 Festival was designated as an official Taste New York Event and we received a $65,000 grant from Gov. Cuomo’s New York Craft Beverage Initiative, on top of some local funding, to help promote the festival,” Pardy said.
“We were concerned that although we were granted $35,000 in funding from Lake George village, town and Warren County this year, that without the state funding, we might not be able to reach the 6,000 tickets goal we had set out for this year. Thankfully, we could reach our goals on a much tighter marketing budget. I think it shows the impact positive attendee feedback and word of mouth can have and that we made the right marketing choices with our budget this year.”
The vendor list included 24 wineries, four breweries, eight distilleries, three cideries, 26 artisan food vendors, nine food trucks, one local restaurant, six specialty vendors, some sponsor booths, and a weekend full of culinary demonstrations provided by the SUNY Adirondack culinary students.
“We had a much better handle on what the Festival Commons could handle capacity-wise this year,” said Pardy. Last year, concerned with hitting capacity on Saturday, Saturday ticket sales were cut off on Friday.
“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, giving everyone a chance to experience all the festival had to offer,” said Pardy.
Improvements made for this year’s event included:
• Adding about 20 more vendors, offering more craft beverage and food options, which cut down attendee lines and increased variety.
• Arranging for several parking lots for attendees & vendors.
• More covered “take a break” tents offering shade and seating, including popular Adirondack Chair hangout spots provided by Forest Hills Trading Co.
• A water misting tent.
• A dedicated kids’ activity tent provided by Fun Spot
• Water provided by Lake George Premium Brand for two-day ticket holders and designated drivers
Pardy said the survey of attendees showed 96 percent said they will attend again if they are able.
“Our vendors worked very hard to prepare for and serve attendees; and every vendor we’ve talked to so far has given us great feedback about event attendance, our level of organization, and their sales for the weekend and they plan to join us again next year,” she said.
As the designated beneficiary of the festival, the SUNY Adirondack Foundation provided volunteer staff during festival weekend and will receive a portion of the event’s ticket sales. Additionally, SUNY Adirondack raised funds through sales of raffle tickets, water bottles, festival T-shirts and baked goods throughout the weekend.
“Our festival brings an important demographic to the Lake George region. Our attendees are primarily females with buying power and include younger age demographics than most Lake George events,” said Pardy, “This Festival draws not only local attendees, but people from all over the country that stay multiple nights,” said Pardy.
Via the survey, the festival organization estimated the festival generated 3,380 room nights for the Lake George region.
“From our data, we can confidently, estimate the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival generated a $1 million economic impact to our region,” said Pardy.
The fourth annual Adirondack Wine & Food Festival is scheduled for June 23 and 24th, 2018, at Charles R. Wood Festival Commons. Tickets will go on sale in the fall.