From STAFF REPORTS
The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Tuesday that the 32nd annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will move to Mariners Landing in Huddleston.
“We are excited about the opportunities this impressive venue will present for both vendors and attendees,” said Christopher Finley, the chamber’s executive director. This year’s festival is scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27.
The 1,000-acre resort offers rental accommodations, as well as an on-site conference center and golf course.
Finley said a number of factors led the chamber’s executive board to endorse moving the event from Crazy Horse Marina where it has taken place the past four years.
“We’ve greatly enjoyed having the wine festival at Crazy Horse,” Finley said. “However, Mariners Landing offers indoor facilities and resort amenities that will benefit not only those who attend the festival, but also the hundreds of volunteers and vendors who participate each year. The conference center provides shelter in case of inclement weather, as well as other attractive conveniences such as air conditioning, restrooms and seating.
In addition, Finley said the new location has enough on- and off-water parking.
“Plus, having on-site accommodations provides attendees from out of the area more options for making the festival a weekend getaway, which is a request we hear often,” Finley added.
The first Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival took place in 1989 on the grounds of The Manor at Taylor’s Store, formerly a bed and breakfast, near Burnt Chimney. In addition to Crazy Horse Marina, other locations have included Bernard’s Landing and Lakewatch Plantation.
The wine festival is the chamber’s largest fundraiser with proceeds used to grow and develop programs to promote tourism and business in the lake region. The two-day event, held the last weekend in September, regularly draws crowds of more than 11,000.