Lakeside fest puts reserve on tap

Some of the planning committee for Atascadero's Lakeside Wine Festival (photo submitted)

ATASCADERO — With two months to go until the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival, organizers felt it was better to announce their plans sooner rather than later when locals and visitors might already be looking for tickets.

Don’t worry, what will be the 24th annual incarnation of the festival is still on for June 22 at 4 p.m., but the event has been folded into festivities under a new name, “Central Coast Reserve at Atascadero.”

Their full Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival organizing committee are the same names past participants will recognize over two decades of work to fund the Atascadero Zoo and other worthy nonprofit organizations, as well as a couple of fresh faces: The Atascadero News’ own Barbie Butz; Lyn Fowler; Kristie Steele; Terrie Banish from the City of Atascadero; Kim Jones, Rob Jones; Carol Porter; Jamie Neutill; Jerry Tanimoto; City Planning Commissioner Mark Dariz; Geof Fagan; and Debra Albert; with Vicki Lee and Madison Quiring from the Chamber of Commerce.

As Quiring noted while giving the Atascadero News a tour of the Reserve’s new website — — last week, they’re hoping a rebrand showcasing a spread of family friendly events across the City will spark some “magic” for Atascadero.

Their new brown, gold and white logo is designed to evoke wine, beer and spirits as Central Coast Reserve spreads over June 21-23 with events.

On June 21 the Mayor's Winemaker Dinner offers the chance to meet local winemakers and share a three-course meal at the Pavilion on the Lake hosted by the Atascadero Kiwanis Club. While the Golf Tournament kicks off at 8 a.m. on June 22 at the Chalk Mountain Golf Course, yoga and mimosas begin an interesting combination in the Sunken Gardens Park at 9 a.m., hosted by Kennedy Club Fitness. Yogis get a free mimosa while supplies last.

On Sunday, June 23, attention shifts to breweries, cideries, and distilleries on the Central Coast with participants offered exclusive tastings, deals, and specials from local businesses.

More community partners are being sought for that part of the event, Quiring adds, another reason to get the word out early.

As for why they’re renaming festivities for an established festival, Butz notes organizers have always taken some risks to get their events off the ground. For the first in 1995, it wasn’t a sure bet asking the Zoo Society Board to stake them $5,000 in start-up funds, but as it turned out they paid for themselves before touching the seed money and netted an extra $3,000 to support the Charles Paddock Zoo. She’s proud of that start too, adding that no other festival on the Central Coast gets to hold their events at a zoo.

Addition of the now traditional Golf Tournament with the Atascadero Optimist Club wasn’t always a shoo-in either until Jerry Tanimoto stepped up to the tee for the organization.

Tasked, since her hiring by the City Council, with raising the profile of the Atascadero brand and capturing more tourist dollars as a destination in the City’s own right, Deputy City Manager Terrie Banish added that changes to other local festival scheduling gave the Lakeside Festival a chance to shine.

The four-day, “lifestyle festival,” Sunset Savor the Central Coast followed up on plans developed in 2016 to take their show on the road with food and wine from the Central Coast being showcased at a San Diego event last November. While Santa Margarita and Atascadero hoteliers doubtless missed out on the economic shot in the arm the event brought, Central Coast Reserve stands to attract families who’ve seen local products elsewhere.



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