2009 Autumn Wine Festival in pictures and text

It was fairly cold and raw but the show must go on and indeed it did.

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time amongst the wine connoisseurs and spectators doing my political duties at the Autumn Wine Festival. Needless to say, with the weather the crowd wasn’t all that large. Here’s a shot I took yesterday afternoon:

I was standing at the north end of the aisle between the winery tents for this shot, looking toward the large tent which housed several more wineries.

Just as a comparison, I took this shot on Sunday afternoon at last year’s AWF.

This shot was taken at the 2008 AWF. I'm looking in the opposite direction toward the stage, with another difference being that each winery represented had its own tent.

So business was a little slow. You may recall last year had a chilly and cloudy Saturday but it didn’t rain, either. At least there was a little autumn color at the entrance.

Grist Mill Gardens provided a nice bit of fall color as visitors entered the Pemberton Manor grounds.

Obviously having the still life scenes around makes for the opportunity to get in some nice photography, like these examples.

The Running Hare Winery festooned its wares with a number of ribbons they've received from various wine festivals around the region. Honestly, I don't know if our version of the AWF does this but if they don't maybe they should - after all, we do that for Pork in the Park.

Orchid Cellars had their selections in this nice box. Not as many ribbons for their group but it made for a nice picture.

Moving to the wineries who set up outside the main tent, I thought Far Eastern Shore Winery had the nicest setup.

This may be my favorite picture of the whole event as far as composition because of the nice colors expressed in the wine bottles and the potted flower. Bonus points for the bottles being wet from the rain to provide texture.

But the reason I was there was to coordinate the GOP booth at the festival. Business was pretty slow, but that’s to be expected during an off-year in the election cycle. Unlike last year, I didn’t have a lot to give away or decorate with.

My partner at the time, Tom Hughes, looked a little chilled. On the table, the literature and buttons are from statewide and local candidates Jim Rutledge, Mike McDermott, and Michael James. And we had chocolate!

To their credit, the local Democrats were there too. It’s the first time I recall them showing at a non-election year AWF.

She looks cold too. All they had were voter registration cards and the yard signs under their tent.

It’s worth pointing out that neither side had a ton of volunteers but the Democrats’ tent was only staffed for a few hours on Saturday and they pulled up stakes before Sunday began. I had helpers most of the time both days so thanks to Gail, Woody, Leonard, Tom, Blan, Bob, and George for their assistance. Both parties had a conflicting event Saturday so it’s no surprise volunteers (and candidates) were hard to come by.

The music played as well. One of the Saturday acts was local saxophonist Everett Spells, who played in the rain – as the video shows.

Sunday started with local musician and former Bad Company bassist Paul Cullen.

Paul Cullen opened the show on Sunday, just him and his guitar.

Last year I highlighted the lingerie company that showed up, and they were there this year too. But this year I’ll focus on another vice.

Forget Hangovers was there on Saturday but forgot to come back Sunday. There were a few booths who didn't reopen but most vendors stuck it out for both days.

You would think they’d be there on Sunday but they weren’t. It leads me to believe that either business was slow or they were figuring on dissatisfied customers. Maybe a hangover is to blame for the next picture – look closely.

This belongs in the 'd'oh!' category. Wonder who's in charge of spellcheck?

I did find out one thing during my time at the AWF. The date for the event is not set by Wicomico County but by the group promoting Maryland wine. So we already have the same weekend set for 2010, which will be October 16th and 17th. Let’s all hope for much better weather and turnout.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

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