UTICA — Twenty-eight wineries will participate in the Vintage Illinois Wine Festival, which claims the title of being the state’s largest festival of Illinois wine. Matthiessen State Park (located just south of Starved Rock State Park on Route 178) is the site of the rain-or-shine festival scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 15 and noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 16.
Starved Rock Lodge will host the food vending, and plans are underway to offer a variety of choices that pair well with wine. No outside food or beverages are allowed, and pets must be kept on a leash. The festival site will have chairs and tables; however, guests should bring blankets and lawn chairs to guarantee seating. Lastly, all guests should be prepared with a photo identification showing proof of age. Musical entertainment will soon be announced on the website.
Tickets are now for sale on the festival’s website at www.vintageillinois.com. Ticket price is $20 and includes a wine glass, wristband, and seven tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased for $1. General admission for those not drinking is $5 each.
New this year, Starved Rock Lodge and the Starved Rock Marketplace will feature Starved Rock Bubbly (a locally produced, sparkling wine) called Nature’s Celebration.