Sunny Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country keeps the summer spirit going this fall when the Wine Capital of Canada embraces the harvest season with a fun-packed weekend of al fresco festivals on September 30 and October 1, 2017.
Fall festivities begin at picturesque Hester Creek Estate Winery with the sixth annual Garlic Festival in honour of the pungent bulb on Saturday, September 30 (from 11am). Celebrate with an array of flavourful dishes paired with Hester Creek’s incredible collection of wines, alongside live entertainment and the opportunity to find out more about the health benefits of the humble garlic from local growers and farmers. Admission is by donation, with all proceeds supporting Oliver Elementary School’s Farm to Table Lunch Program, which supplies students with farm fresh produce from October through May.
Swap your wine glass for a cold glass at the annual Cask & Keg, which will be also be held on Saturday, September 30 at Oliver Community Park (6-10pm). The outdoor event says cheers to the local breweries, cideries and distilleries that help further the region as a thirst-quenching hot spot. Cask & Keg keeps the party going after sunset with beer, cider and liquor samples, an eclectic line-up of local food trucks, live music by Big Easy Funk Ensemble and an art show. Advance tickets are available starting at $20 (online or from Oliver Visitor Centre) or can be purchased at the gate for $25. Admission includes three tastings and a souvenir glass.
Active visitors can squeeze in a run among the festivities and take part in the Baldy Marathon (or 10k, 20k or a fun run for kids) on Sunday October 1. Following the Okanagan River, the flat race course winds through wine country as it heads towards picturesque Okanagan Lake. Entry to the Marathon also includes full access to Festival of the Grape, as well as a commemorative Baldy Marathon t-shirt, finisher’s medal, and access to the roving shuttle race-day transportation – operating both to and from Oliver and Osoyoos all day. Visit www.skibaldy.com/marathon for more details.
The weekend continues with the celebrated Festival of the Grape on October 1 from 12pm-5pm. In its 21st year, the annual event is now Oliver’s largest outdoor festival, hosting over 50 wineries, plus food trucks and an artisan market. This year’s festival includes the Fall Art Show & Sale, interactive kids’ zone, live entertainment and the well-loved costumed grape stomping competition. Tickets are available for $25 in advance or $30 at the gate. Limited edition Cask & Keg and Festival of the Grape combo tickets are available for $40. To find out more or purchase tickets, visit www.oliverfestivalofthegrape.com.
To learn more about the wine country region, visit Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association at www.oliverosoyoos.com