Once upon a time there was a winery on the Philadelphia countryside, whose owners realized that on July 4th of every year a farm across the street held a large, private, no-holds-barred fireworks show at dusk.
They decided to stay open late that night to sell a few bottles to patrons, have an enjoyable little gathering and share the festivities with the approximately fifteen guests that showed up.
Fast forward four years.
The secret is out. On Friday, July 4th, 2014 after much planning, live music & food vendors booked, and plenty of social media buzz, Penns Woods got more than double of their expected attendance. We’re talking over a thousand visitors. Dia Doce sold all of their cupcakes. The Meat House ran out of meat. But fortunately, there was enough wine to take the event to the end. Although the popular Viognier didn’t last.
This is quite a feat in an area that had hundreds of fireworks shows going on at he same time slot, not to mention a world class celebration in the birthplace of America, less than an hour away. I’m sure that quality local wine & food had a hand in this. The perfect weather didn’t hurt either, and a Friday holiday will get people out & about, for sure.
A little bird told me that the event will be set up differently going forward, perhaps in a reservation format. Even though it was a resounding success, Fireworks and Wine brought about borderline craziness from the enormous turnout and a real strain on the staff. Though I’m happy I got to experience it in it’s raw format.
Amidst the parking problems, unruly patrons (they show up everywhere, folks) and long lines, this event was pulled off with poise and class. I want to thank the staff at Penns Woods for busting ass and maintaining professionalism throughout the event.
Oh, a special shout out to McKenzie Brew House right up the street for the mouth watering roast chicken pot pie. Paired nicely with a Route 202 Pale Ale, this made for a pleasant dinner.. God Bless America.
Raise a glass! See you next year.