Shores of Erie announces entertainment for Wine Fest

New features also added to 2011 Wine Festival

By Joel Charron

The Shores Of Erie (SOE) International Wine Festival committee has announced this year’s big name that will be headlining the opening night entertainment.

Sam Roberts, who played at the Wine Fest in 2008, will make his return to Amherstburg as he’ll be set to kick off the festivities.

SOE Festival Administrator Kelly O’Rourke said the decision to bring back Sam Roberts for the second time in three year was an easy one because there have been plenty of people asking when he was going to come back.

“He’s back by popular demand,” said O’Rourke. “He’s back because all we heard was bring Sam back.”

O’Rourke said they were “really lucky” in booking Sam Roberts this year, stating when it comes to booking big names for the opening night entertainment it all falls on when the artist is available and if it coincides with their schedules

Other performances during the Wine Festival are Michou, Pat Robitaille, Big Wheel & The Spokes, Johnny “V” Recession Blues Band, Dave Russell & The Precious Stones, Raul Midon, Sarah Harmer and many more.

Check for lineups and times.

O’Rourke also mentioned there are a few changes to this year’s edition of the International Wine Fest, which runs from Sept. 8 until Sept. 11.

To prevent drinking and driving, SOE is debuting a new shuttle service, which will pick-up and drop off festival attendees at designated spots around the Amherstburg area.

Although the pick-up/drop off spots have not been finalized, some of the spots will included, CrownRidge, Pointe West and the Monopoly subdivision.

“We hope this will allow people not to drive when they’ve had a drink or two,” said O’Rourke.  “We want to cut down on anyone driving. If we can give you a ride, why not take it.

Sharp Bus Line Ltd. will provide school buses for the shuttling.

“We’re are excited about getting people down here and not have them worry about parking,” added O’Rourke.

SOE has also teamed up with Transportation Options and will coordinate a “Celebrate Cycling” event with the Wine Festival.

Residence will be encouraged to ride their bikes to the Wine Fest. Valet Bike Parking will be available on Saturday and Sunday, as well as,  bike racks will be set up for parking outside the festival entrance.

A cycle tourism expo tent will be set up near the main entrance. It will feature interactive displays, local cycle tour information, bike shops and attractions.

Free one-hour local bike tours of the Amherstburg and surrounding area will also be available on Saturday and Sunday.

SOE will also be debuting “Galleries at Shores.”

O’Rourke said SOE partnered with the Gibson Gallery and sent invitations out to all the region’s art galleries to stir interest for a small art show along the shoreline.

O’Rourke added that festival attendees mentioned the only item available to them to purchase was a t-shirt, having a mini-art show along the shore gives people the option of buying a piece of art as a Wine festival souvenir.

“We are certainly not Art by the River,” said O’Rourke. “This is just a small scale art showing that gives people something do to as well as walk around and drink their wine.”

Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased at the Gordon House, ScotiaBank and CIBC. Tickets for Thursday are $30, Friday $20, Saturday $20 and Sunday $15. A weekend pass for Friday-Sunday can be purchased for $50. Tickets purchased at the gates will be $5 more.

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