Geneva's Festival of the Vine canceled; new monthlong event to feature restaurant samples
Geneva's long-standing Festival of the Vine has been canceled due to coronavirus restrictions, prompting organizers to develop a new and socially distanced way for local restaurants to offer food and beverage samples.
For about 40 years, the popular festival has drawn large crowds to downtown Geneva for live entertainment, a craft show, family friendly activities and the Flavor Fare and Wine Tent featuring delicacies from participating establishments.
With the health and safety of patrons top of mind amid the COVID-19 crisis, Geneva Chamber of Commerce leaders and board members announced Monday in a news release that they would be canceling this year's event, originally planned for Sept. 11-13.
Though the decision was difficult, chamber President Paula Schmidt said, the size of the festival would not adhere to Phase 4 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's Restore Illinois plan.
Instead, the chamber is now organizing "Sip & Sample Through September," a monthlong event allowing visitors to sample popular or new menu items at various area restaurants.
"It is our hope that patrons will then stay for breakfast, lunch or dinner in that eatery and help support the Geneva chamber as well," she said.
Tickets and details about the Sip & Sample festivities will be available by Aug. 24. For more information, visit genevachamber.com.