It’s almost time to toast Saratoga’s annual Wine & Food Festival—but this year, Saratogians will have to wait a little bit longer than usual. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), which presents the event, has announced that, for the first time, the festival will take place a little later in the year (October 4-5) and be transformed into a celebration of the fall harvest season. In addition to the new autumnal aesthetic, this year’s festival will also highlight sustainable cooking and agricultural practices with an all-new “Cultivate Series” at various locations throughout Downtown Saratoga.
“This year’s festival will be a celebration of the rich cultural and culinary bounty of the region, with an underlying ethos of socially conscious cultivation and consumption,” SPAC’s President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol tells saratoga living. In that spirit, on day one (October 4) of this year’s Wine & Food Festival will offer an exciting, new themed Farm-to-Table Harvest Dinner, beginning at 7pm with live entertainment and music. All of the harvest-themed fun will be set in an enchanting environment resembling a magical forest. Those who purchase VIP tickets for the Friday event will have early access to the festivities in a dedicated VIP section, featuring top-shelf wines and a curated selection of delicious local fare.
The festival’s signature event, the Grand Tasting, takes place on October 5 from 12-4pm, and will feature gourmet tastings and bites of the best food from the Hudson Valley up to the Adirondacks and everything in between. Also, event-goers will be able to enjoy pours of local and international wines, liquors and craft beers, as well as live music and entertainment by local artists. VIP ticket holders will again get early access to the event as well as some special VIP experiences.
To make this year’s gourmet food showcase more epicurean than ever, SPAC has partnered with a host of important local institutions and businesses, including food caterers Rascal + Thorn, Lily and the Rose and Mazzone Hospitality; live entertainment by Caffè Lena; and sculptures and art provided by The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls (celebrity wedding and event planner Colin Cowie Lifestyle will once again provide decor). SPAC is also collaborating with Skidmore College to help create a new “Cultivate Series” from Sunday, September 29 through Thursday, October 3, offering an assortment of free cultural and educational events throughout the Spa City that focus on sustainable agriculture, environmental justice and health. (A full schedule will be announced later this summer.)
Just as in years past, the Saratoga Wine & Food Festival will also serve a charitable purpose. “As our primary fundraiser for educational programming, the weekend event is a festive way to support arts in the community and, for the first time, celebrate the beginning of the autumn harvest season,” says Sobol.
Tickets to the festival are now available at spac.org.