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Ironton aLive’s wine festival expands

Ironton aLive’s wine festival is expanding this year.

The Art and Wine Festival will take place from noon-5 p.m. on Sept. 29 and will be held at the Blue Bridge Café and the adjacent space in the Transit Center on Second Street. The space is across the street from the Ironton Farmers Market, which will be open at the time.

This is the first year that the festival has expanded to include an art show.

“We thought it would give us a more diverse audience,” said Sam Heighton, executive director of Ironton aLive. “That’s why we moved it to a bigger venue, to have art and wine together.”

The event will have wines from four Ohio wineries including Buckeye Lake Winery of Columbus which will include all of their wines. Other wineries will be represented including  The Merry Family Winery and The Terra Cotta Winery. All the wineries were chosen because they are close enough to Ironton that a person could make a day trip of visiting them.

The festival was started four years ago to fill in a gap on the Ohio River Valley Wine Trail, which runs from Paducah, Kentucky to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

When Ironton aLive was creating events to attract people to Lawrence County, they realized there was a blank spot between wine festivals on the trail, with was no stop from Adams County to the other side of Gallipolis, and stepped in to fill the spot.

Now, the wine festival brings in around 100 people, both locally and from as far away as Toledo and Cleveland in northern Ohio as well as Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana.

“I think they come because they are connoisseurs of wine and they enjoy traveling and experimenting with new wines,” Heighton said.

There will be live music by the Kelly’s Bridge Band.

Tickets for the event are $30, which includes six sample pours and wine-friendly finger foods including cheeses, fruit and crackers. Bottles of wine will also be available for purchase.

Tickets can be bought in advance at the Blue Bridge Café or Unger’s Shoes.

For questions or to apply to display your art, call Ironton aLive at 740-533-7951.

The event ends at 4 p.m. so visitors can still make it to the Historic Walk at Woodland Cemetery, which starts at 5 p.m.