It doesn’t seem possible that I’ve been involved in the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival for going on 24 years! How can that be?
If you have not attended this event, let me tell you a little history. Twenty-four years ago a group of Atascadero community leaders came together to create an event to put Atascadero “on the map” of events and festivals. That original team included Mayor Hal Carden, Community Services Director Brady Cherry, former Chamber Executive Director Micki Readie, and business leaders Sid Bowen, Jan Bewley, and Anthony Farao. Also among the group were community volunteers anxious to be part of this exciting venture. I happened to be one of those volunteers.
In the planning process, we knew we had a unique location for the festival. Atascadero Lake Park offered a “Norman Rockwell” setting filled with sturdy oaks and other huge trees whose branches and foliage provided plenty of shade for the gently sloping landscape. And better yet, we had the backdrop of the beautiful Atascadero Lake, along with the nationally accredited Charles Paddock Zoo. Where else on the Central Coast could you find those amenities in one location!
We were elated with the location and began the work of bringing together the best wine of the Central Coast wine region, food, olive oil, art, top-rated artisan craft beers, and live music to round out the festival.
I like to describe the festival as a delightful gathering of friends of the vine, tasting the best wines offered on the Central Coast.
Like all great events there needs to be something new to keep you coming back, and this year I have good news to report. The festival will offer more opportunities for ticket holders to taste some of the other popular “beverages” found here on the Central Coast including cider and distilled spirits. You will still enjoy tasting fine wine from local wineries and craft beer from local breweries. You won’t be disappointed with the representation.
So mark your calendars now for the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival, Saturday, June 22, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Atascadero Lake Park. For more information, visit atascaderolakesidewinefestival.com.
Watch for my column next week when I will continue with the history and growth of this popular event.
Among the events taking place on this Mother’s Day will be the “Cookie Adventure” on May 12, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Charles Paddock Zoo.
Save your sweet tooth for a treat after your Mother’s Day celebration and head over to the zoo for the 8th Annual Cookie Adventure. There will be more than just animals at the zoo that day when local cookie bakers will be there handing out samples of their scrumptious cookies to zoo visitors. Cookie Adventure is included in Zoo admission.
Don’t miss the 4th Annual Lake Fest on May 18, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Atascadero Lake Park.
A variety of activities will be waiting for you, including the “cardboard and duct tape” boat races. Joe’s Little Train will be picking up steam to take little ones for a ride, while there will be a variety of vendors offering a wide selection of items for purchase — everything from food to unique gift items.
The event is free to attend, but bring your wallet to enjoy food, drinks, and shopping!
Proceeds from the event will be used to benefit improvements in and around Atascadero Lake. For more information, check out the Facebook page at Friends of Atascadero Lake and click on events.
The Atascadero Fun Club is for people age 50 and older who want to have fun and is co-sponsored by the City of Atascadero’s Recreation Division. For details about the events and activities presented by the Fun Club, contact: [email protected] Programs take place at the Colony Park Community Center unless stated otherwise.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there — Enjoy the weekend.