Ottawa’s 10th annual wine weekend is back!
Blue skies, a warm breeze, music in the air and a sip of wine will be a great way to kick off the summer. For those who enjoy the fermented fruit and carousel of entertainment the wait is almost over. After a year of “on hold” , the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Alliance is setting their sights on Ottawa, Illinois June 5 – 6th for “Ottawa Uncorked”. This event will showcase wineries from across Illinois and provides ample opportunity for attendees to sample and purchase wines made right here in Illinois, many of which are the product of Illinois-grown grapes.
The event returns thanks to a partnership between Ottawa Noon Rotary, Floret Events and Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Alliance, in cooperation with the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Visitors Center. The event will encompass several areas of the downtown to ensure safety protocols are met. However, the layout will be much different this year. Washington Square Park (101 W. Lafayette St.) will feature the vintners, ticket sales, space to relax and picnic in socially-distanced groups, and will be accompanied with music and some market vendors. The Jordan Block (101 N. Main Street), will have food, music and open space to relax and picnic as well.
Lisa Ellis – Director of IGGVA says, “Illinois Wine is excited about returning to Ottawa, and appreciates the outpouring of community support for the event. We encourage everyone to remember that flexibility is key in our approach this year, as the safety and well-being of all participants is our top priority.”
Attendees can also expect a full vendors market organized by Floret Events. The market will feature local produce, with many crafts and handmade items also for purchase. Attendees can find the market along Court St, across from the Jordan Block, and at Washington Square Park. Stephanie Stacy – owner of Floret Events says, “Floret is thrilled to be bringing back the Chris Kringle style market during Ottawa uncorked”.
In addition, Ottawa Noon Rotary will be serving a sizzling shish kabob (pork or shrimp) on site, accompanied with chips and corn on the cob. Chanel Renkosik – Rotary President, is excited for the club’s involvement in the community and this event. Saying, “Ottawa Noon Rotarians are eager after a year long hiatus to put on their aprons and grill up a delicious meal to offer guests of “Ottawa Uncorked.” The return of events like this in our community give our large and active club an opportunity to raise money for many charitable organizations in our community. “
Patrons are also encouraged to visit the local restaurants and businesses throughout the downtown while venturing out to the market. Curt Bedei the Director for the Ottawa Visitors Center says, ” This is a great event to get out and enjoy some time with family, and friends. You will come to know the authenticity of our town and the friendly atmosphere it creates while attending the event, shopping the businesses and indulging at the restaurants. We encourage visitors to book a hotel now and take advantage of their time while in Ottawa“.
Covid makes the planning process a little tricky, so organizers encourage potential attendees to exercise patience. Advance ticket purchase for wine tasting and food is encouraged, but not required, with a new and improved website currently under construction. Ottawa Uncorked is also on Facebook. Ticket availability for wine and food are not guaranteed the day of the event. Tickets and pricing information will be available soon at ottawauncorked.com. Wine tasters must be 21 years of age and provide a picture ID to consume and purchase wine.
Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Anyone seeking to sponsor a portion of the event is asked to call Tina at 217-726-8518.