BRING YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE OR STATE ID: All guests MUST be prepared to show photo identification to verify your legal age. If you plan to enjoy even the smallest taste of wine you must be at least 21 years of age, must purchase a ticket and wear the event wristband. No exceptions. Guests found in violation of this policy will be asked to leave the grounds.
BRING YOUR COVID-19 VACCINATION CARD: Guests are NOT REQUIRED to be vaccinated in order to attend, but we do encourage you to let us know if you are. Fully vaccinated guests do not count toward our capacity limits, so sharing your status will allow more people to enjoy the event. Guests willing to share their status will receive a special armband, and event organizers will keep no permanent records related to your vaccination status. Please do not comment on the vaccination status of other guests or event volunteers.
DESIGNATED DRIVER/NON-DRINKER GUESTS: 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 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.
WEATHER: This is an outdoor event located in downtown Ottawa. Guests should be prepared for all weather possibilities (remember, it is Illinois in June). Dress accordingly. Don’t forget your sunscreen, bug spray and anything else you might need to be comfortable for the day! Bring an umbrella if rain is in the forecast (no beach umbrellas). 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*
TICKET REFUNDS: 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.
ENTRY PROCESS: Look for the big tent at Washington Park! All wine tasters MUST go through our security and check in process for ID check and tasting ticket distribution. This process takes time, and may require a wait. Please be patient and observe recommended social distancing practices while waiting in line. Also please be considerate during the wait. Prepared guests make the process go faster, so have your DI, vaccination cards and tickets ready to view.
A NOTE ABOUT SECURITY: Outside food and alcohol is not allowed, so please leave your big coolers at home. Small 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. All items, including large purses, backpacks, wagons, etc… are subject to search. Weapons of any kind are not permitted.
TASTING: Properly banded attendees will receive a 1-ounce pour of wine in exchange for each tasting ticket. 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. Tasting tickets may also be used to purchase a glass of wine from any of the wineries, but do not apply toward bottle purchases. Additional tasting tickets are available for purchase at the main entry and at our merchandise booth.
SEATING: The event spaces have a very limited number of seating options (park benches, picnic tables, bleachers, etc..), so we do encourage you to bring lawn chairs, blankets or something to sit on for the day. Other items, such as portable shelters and pop up tents are NOT ALLOWED. Your set-up MUST be considerate of other guests. 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.
CHILDREN: While children are allowed into the event area, 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.
PETS: 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. 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.
8 THINGS WE KNOW FOR SURE
THERE WILL BE WAITS
We expect this will be a well-attended event, spread out over several blocks in beautiful downtown Ottawa, IL. We’re all ready to get out of the house, right? All attendees should be prepared to wait in line a bit. In fact, be surprised if you don’t! Please be nice to our event staff, volunteers, wineries, food vendors and their staff.
THERE WILL BE GLASSES – LOTS OF GLASSES
Wine Tasters will receive an event glass – but we can’t pour into it this year. Tastes and glasses of wine will be poured into single-serving containers. YOU can pour your taste or glass of wine into your event glass, or just take it home. We can’t touch it, so please don’t ask. We’ll have receptacles near each winery for your throw-aways and plan to recycle if you’ll all help us with proper placement.
Guess what – we don’t have to “count” you in our attendance, allowing more people to enjoy Ottawa Uncorked. So bring those cards and show them off at check-in. We’ll give you a special wristband so our crowd-counters can identify who they need to count. And please let’s not get political over this- we have to follow the rules in order to make this event happen.
SIX FEET = SIX WINE BOTTLES
Who knew this visual would come in so handy? While our activities all take place outdoors, we still want to follow best practices and keep our distance from others. Bring your mask and plan to wear it where required or appropriate. While you’re at it, make sure to wash or sanitize your hands frequently. #SafetyFirst. Bring masks, sanitizer and anything else you need for your own personal comfort.
YOU REALLY SHOULD BUY WINE TO TAKE HOME
While extra purchases are not a requirement, we think it says something good about you if you show a little love to a winery going above and beyond. Many of them will offer case discounts.. How often do you have more than a dozen local wineries all in one spot? Build your own case and take it home for the much-anticipated Illinois re-opening (we heard it might be July 4th – giving Independence Day a whole new meaning). We can for sure help you get that case to your car, or you can bring your own wagon.
CHECK THE OTTAWA UNCORKED WEBSITE B4 YOU ARRIVE
Wine lists, sponsors and market vendor info can be found online.You’ll want to make a game plan for the weekend. Every minute counts. Do your research before the event. Don’t see a wine you love on the menu? Call the winery ahead of time and they’ll likely load it up just for you!
SOCIAL SHARING IS CARING
Note: You never know about connectivity during an event– so don’t count on your phone to help you with anything other than taking photos while on the festival grounds. In this day and age, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Take the time to enjoy the music, the scenery, your friends, the food and the wine! Take lots of pictures and post them to your social accounts when you get back online.
Make sure to use our hashtags – #IllinoisWine
Facebook: @OttawaUncorked and @IllinoisWine
8. YOU MUST HAVE FUN
We don’t think you need an explanation on this one.