After a two-year hiatus due to COVID, the 2022 Adirondack Wine & Food Festival returned in June. Organizers said more than 6,800 people attended.
Officials estimated the event had a $4.1 million economic impact on the Greater Lake George Region.
The festival was held Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, at Charles R. Wood Festival Commons in the Village of Lake George.
The sixth-annual event sold out with over 4,000 attendees on Saturday, despite a weekend of unusually high temperatures.
“After two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we weren’t sure what to expect; so we were thrilled when we sold out Saturday before the weekend hit, especially considering the 90 plus degree temps we had,” said Sasha Pardy, festival owner and co-owner of the Adirondack Winery in Lake George.
“I am so proud of the impact this event has on the economy of the Lake George region and our small family-owned producer vendors. I am looking forward to doing it bigger and better yet again next year,” she said.
She said a post-festival attendee survey showed the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival had an average age of 44 for attendeees, but has broad appeal to all age groups. Figures showed the event drew a more affluent crowd to the region with 53 percent having a household income of $100,000 or greater.
Of the 6,837 total attendees, 89 percent either planned their trip to Lake George specifically to attend the festival or chose their dates based on when the festival occurred, officials said. The event introduced or brought back 2,740 people to Lake George who had either never been or hadn’t been back in two-plus years.
Pardy said while people were in town, 84 percent of attendees either shopped at local stores, visited local attractions, or took part in activities in the region, while 78 percent said they ate or drank at a local restaurant or bar while they were in town.
The festival also had a significant impact on the lodging industry in the Greater Lake George Region. The attendee survey found that 61 percent of ticket holders stayed one to 14 nights at an area lodging property, generating 10,044 room nights (based on single occupancy). People drove a long way to attend the festival, with attendees traveling from 33 states. Some 26.4 percent were from outside New York state.
This year’s Adirondack Wine & Food Festival featured nearly 120 New York state wine producers, craft beverage makers, artisan food vendors, food trucks and more, the most ever gathered for the fest.
New attractions included a VIP cabana experience with tents provided by Adirondack Safari, along with a stilt walker, magician, dance troupe and musician for entertainment.
The culinary tent was revamped this year with eight renowned area chefs and mixologists from the likes of Farmacy Restobar, Park 26, Cantina Saratoga, Hudson’s Private Chef Services and more. The performers competed head-to-head in a hidden basket competition both days and conducted hourly culinary or mixology demonstrations utilizing foods and craft beverages from festival vendors, officials said.
The Festival welcomed back Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks for the third year as the festival beneficiary. Nearly $23,000 was raised for the agency through a portion of ticket sales revenue, the sale of Saratoga Water and Origin brand water bottles, raffle ticket sales for baskets filled with items donated by vendors, and donations from attendees.
“The festival patrons stepped up to the plate to help our kids this year in record numbers,” said Bill Moon, Big Brothers and Big Sisters CEO. “Every child deserves a mentor, and the Adirondack Wine & Food Fest is helping us make that a reality. These funds will make so many opportunities and experiences possible for the children in our community.”
Ticket price included a souvenir wine glass for wine tasting, a complimentary program, and festival bag.