The 11th Annual Winterfest, a month-long, multi-venue festival of music, art and locally sourced food and drink, kicks off this week with a party at the Hotel Indigo East End Friday night.
Winterfest brings together a collective of wineries, breweries, restaurants, hotels, performing arts venues, art galleries, and retail businesses for special events taking place Feb. through March 18.
Winterfest events include live music at a variety of local venues, winery tours and barrel tastings, comedy shows, concerts and special offerings at restaurants and lodging places. This year, Winterfest is offering two organized tours: a winery tour on March 3 and a brewery tour on March 10.
First introduced in 2006 as a way to attract visitors to the region during the off-season, it was a trailblazing project. The festival was honored in 2012 with the Arts Destination Marketing Award, presented by Americans for the Arts and Destination Marketing Association International.
“Winterfest has proven its value to the East End by highlighting the area as an exciting destination through brand recognition,” East End Arts executive director Patricia Drake Snyder, a founding partner of the project, said in a statement. “Now as the festival umbrellas to include all activities on the East End, it will be a powerful marketing tool to support the winter economy.”
Organizers have launched a new website has just completed with more focus on the venues and lodging partners.
The Winterfest Kick-Off Party on Friday starts at 7 p.m. at Hotel Indigo East End, 1830 West Main Street, Riverhead. The evening will feature music by East End Trio and Keith Sloane along with tastings by local restaurants, vineyards and breweries. Tickets are $50 and are available online here.