Q. What’s different this year? Let us count the ways…
We have an expanded footprint due to COVID. The event area will cover Washington Park, Court Street and the Jordan Block.
The event is only 2 days: Saturday, June 5 from 11am – 8pm; and Sunday, June 6 from 11am – 4pm.
Wineries, vendors and places to relax can be found at Washington Park. Rotary shish kabobs, craft beer, vendors and places to relax can be found at the Jordan Block. Court Street will host additional vendors.
We will have 2 stages for music, one at Washington Park and the other on the Jordan Block.
Social distancing will still be required, so please be considerate of others.
We encourage all attendees to use whatever PPE they need to feel secure at this event.
Vaccinated people are no longer required to wear a mask in most settings. Please be respectful of all event guests, and mask it up if unvaccinated or if you just feel better with one on!
Event tables and chairs will be somewhat limited this year. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
We have secured shuttle service! Ottawa Uncorked thanks the North Central Area Transit system for providing FREE shuttle service on Saturday and Sunday for Ottawa Uncorked. N-CAT provides handicap-accessible public bus transportation for residents and guests of LaSalle County. The drop-off and pick-up location is on South Madison Street, between LaSalle and Columbus Streets. Pickups begin at approximately 10:30 am each morning. Last ride back to hotels will be at 8:30 pm on Saturday and 4:30 pm on Sunday.We plan to have two shuttles in constant rotation. One bus will go to Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn and the other bus will stop at Fairfield Inn, Super 8, and Quality Inn. It is anticipated that they will leave downtown every 30 minutes.All riders are required to wear a mask on public transportation, no exceptions. Drivers cannot accept tips, but this event welcomes your donation in appreciation of this service. Look for the donation canister on the bus.
Ottawa Uncorked wine tasters now have a new option for next weekend: Tangled Roots Brewing Company of Ottawa, IL is excited to be a part of Ottawa Uncorked. They will be offering a variety of their craft beers on the Jordan Block (101 W. Main St.) throughout the event. Be sure to come out and support Ottawa’s local brewery. Tasting tickets work for our amazing wines 🍷and craft beer 🍺. Cheers! These guys have been excellent partners in making this weekend happen and we encourage you to support them.
Q. Do we have to wear face coverings?
“Any individual who is not fully vaccinated and who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering (a mask or cloth face covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies whether in an indoor space, such as a store, or in a public outdoor space where maintaining a six-foot social distance is not always possible.” This statement is taken directly from the Governor’s Executive Order.
We will add this: We’re excited to be hosting an event and are jumping through a multitude of hoops to make this happen. Some people will have on masks and some will not. Some will show us their vaccination card and get a wristband and some won’t. Regardless of mask or vaccination status we do ask that EVERYONE JUST BE KIND TO EACH OTHER SO WE CAN HAVE A FUN WEEKEND.
Q. Are dogs allowed at Ottawa Uncorked? This is usually our top question. Ottawa Uncorked is a service-dog friendly event. We love our cats, dogs and other critters as much as you do, but this event is for humans. We are leaving our winery dogs at home and we think Rotary is, too!. If you do bring your service-dog, make sure it is wearing an animal working harness, remains leashed, do not leave it unattended, and please, please, please use a potty bag.
Q. Is Ottawa Uncorked a kid-friendly event? While children are allowed into the event areas, we remind guests that this is an adult event, and no child or family activities are planned. Parents may wish to make alternative arrangements for their children’s care during the event. Non-drinking guests age 5 and older will need to purchase a $5 entry ticket the day of the event, and will be required to wear a designated wristband to gain entry onto the event grounds at Washington Park or Jordan Block.
Q. Do I save any money by ordering online? YES! Tickets for #IllinoisWine tasting and Rotary Shish Kebabs will be more expensive and are not guaranteed to be available on the day of the event. You can pre-oder tickets here: https://ottawauncorked.com/event-item/wine_tickets
Q. Will food be available? Of course, Ottawa Noon Rotary will be there this year with shrimp and pork shish kebabs, there will be additional food vendors and many local restaurants looking forward to serving you during the weekend. Advance ticket purchase is recommended for Rotary shish kebabs. Orders can be placed at the link below:https://ottawauncorked.com/event-item/wine_tickets/
Q. Why is there no lobster this year? Covid. Plain and simple. The cost of lobster is so high and the risk too large for a non-profit group like Rotary to take on this year. Please continue to support them and enjoy the shrimp and pork shish kabobs!
Q. Do I need separate tickets for the wine and the shish kebab? Yes. You need separate tickets for the wine and shish kebab. (yawn)
Q. Can I bring my own wine? Can you believe we STILL get asked this question?!? Unfortunately, the answer this year is the same as in the past: you can’t bring any alcoholic beverages with you onto the event grounds .It is illegal and we have to abide by Illinois State Law, which is complicated, 350 printed pages to be exact, and you can read all about it at: https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?”ActID=1404&ChapterID=26 Q. Is there an event glass this year? Yes, each wine taster will receive a complimentary 9 oz acrylic travel tumbler at check-in. Because Illinois is still under Executive Orders related to COVID, wineries will NOT pour into your event glass. All tastes and glasses will be single-serve, so please do not ask event staff to reuse a cup or glass. Each winery will have a trash receptacle nearby, and we ask that you neatly dispose of your cups and glasses when no longer needed. YOU may use your event glasses, and will have to do your own pouring.
Q. Could we bring a picnic basket with food and wine? Well, let us put it to you this way….you may bring the picnic basket of course, and fill it with wine, shish kebabs, cheese and other amazing food that you purchase at Ottawa Uncorked!! All of our vendors including the wineries and the Rotarians who provide cook and serve the shish kebabs, ALL work VERY hard to help make this a first-class event. We prohibit any outside food and beverages entering the festival site. Picnic baskets, coolers and bags are subject to search. Please support the fest!
Q. Can I bring my cooler? Outside food and alcohol is not allowed, so please leave your big coolers at home. Smaller cooler bags that contain unopened water bottles are allowed. Because the geographic footprint of this event is so large, we do encourage guests to bring a cart or wagon to help with movement of your personal items throughout the day. A cooler on wheels would be okay, as long as you fill it with items you purchase at Ottawa Uncorked! All items, including large purses, backpacks, wagons, etc… are subject to search. Also – weapons of any kind are not permitted.
Q. Is there a designated driver or non-wine taster ticket? We congratulate all guests that make a decision ahead of time to include a designated driver in their group. We also welcome non-drinkers. DD/ND guests age 5 and older will need to purchase a $5 entry ticket the day of the event, and will be required to wear a designated wristband to gain entry onto the event grounds at Washington Park or Jordan Block. We hope you understand. We are still space restricted due to COVID and your ticket purchase helps with crowd control.
Q. Do I need a ticket to sit on the grass and enjoy the music? Yes, you will need a ticket to come on to the grounds of the festival. Everyone needs to pay their fair share. If you don’t plan on sampling wine you will need to purchase the designated driver/non-drinker ticket. See info in question above.
Q. There are a lot of wineries. Can I get more tasting tickets? Absolutely! We welcome your purchase of additional tasting tickets at the check-in tent or the Illinois Wine retail booth at Washington Park.
Q. Can I bring an umbrella or tent for shade? Many tables with umbrellas are provided and situated along the outside perimeter of the lawn at Jordan Block and also in Washington Park. You will be permitted to bring a handheld umbrella. (no beach umbrellas). Pop-up tents and other similar items are not allowed. Don’t forget your sunblock, bug spray and anything else you need to maintain your personal comfort.
Q. Is this a rain or shine event? Ottawa Uncorked is a rain or shine event. However, in the case of unsafe conditions – lightning, tornado, earthquake, tsunamis, hurricanes, zombie apocalypse, etc., the event grounds will close until conditions are safe to re-open. *Please check our Facebook page for updates*
Q. I can no longer attend the fest, can I get a refund? All ticket sales are final, and we don’t offer exchanges or refunds. We’ve all learned a thing or two about risk these past 15 months, and Ottawa Uncorked organizers are taking a HUGE risk organizing this event, which we now know takes place just days before Illinois could move out of COVID restrictions. If you find yourself unable to attend we encourage you to sell or gift your ticket to another wine, music or food lover.
Q. Will the wineries and other vendors accept credit cards? Most wineries and vendors are equipped to accept credit cards, but remember cash is king! Big events like this can drain mobile device resources and slow down the sales process, so please bring your cash just in case. If you get to Ottawa and need more cash you will find several ATM machines around the downtown area. Near the wineries and Washington Park, you can walk across the street to the drive-up ATM at Ottawa Savings Bank. Near the Rotary tent and Jordan Block there is an ATM in the 1st National Bank at the corner of Madison and LaSalle (one block north of the festival grounds), there is an ATM a block west of the park behind the American Legion.
Q. Am I able to move around the different event areas? Yes, in fact we encourage strolling between the Jordan Block and Washington Park. Event vendors and local businesses between the 2 areas would love to have you stop by. You will be able to move your purchased food and beverages along with you and should not be bothered as long as your wristband is visible. If you move between event areas we recommend that you take your personal belongings with you. EVENT ORGANIZERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PERSONAL ITEMS.
Q. I’d like to bring a large umbrella for shade. Is that OK? Many tables with umbrellas are provided and situated along the outside perimeter of the event grassy areas so as to not obstruct the view. If you must have your own private shade we encourage you to find a spot along the outside of the lawn area as well for your personal sun umbrella. Anyone blocking another guest’s view will be asked to relocate to another spot.
Q. May we drink wine on the lawn at Washington Park or at the Jordan Block? Yes, if you buy it from one of our wineries! With so many great #IllinoisWInes to try, please don’t be sneaky and make things complicated. One of the main goals of events like this is to educate attendees about the Illinois wine and grape industry. Instead of Merlot, try a Chambourcin. Instead of Chardonnay, try a Chardonel. These are grapes that thrive in Illinois, and the wines are world-class. Taste many, enjoy some on the grounds and purchase your favorites to take home for later