Niagara’s Grape and Wine Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary

Photo by Kym Ellis on Unsplash

Niagara is big on wine.

If there’s anything highly characteristic of the beloved region (aside from the world-famous falls), it’s that Niagara is most definitely a wine country. The region is full of countless wineries, vineyards, and of course, wine lovers, making Niagara’s annual Grape and Wine Festival a staple in the region’s history.

This year, not only will Niagara’s Grape and Wine Festival be returning for its classic back-to-back weekends full of activities, but the cherished event will also be celebrating its whopping 70-year anniversary. As a proper celebration, the festival will be holding many activities that locals will not want to miss, accompanied by numerous local wineries and culinary vendors to make the experience unforgettable. 

Beginning on Friday, Sept. 16 is one of the most prominent aspects of Niagara’s Grape and Wine Festival—the Montebello Park Experience. This event will be available for the two back-to-back weekends, between 6 p.m to 11 p.m on Fridays, 12 p.m to 11 p.m on Saturdays, and 12 p.m to 5 p.m on Sundays. Along with free admission to the event, festival-goers will have the opportunity to explore downtown St. Catharines’ Montebello Park, the event’s highly-recognized hosting area.

While many of the festival events will take place at Montebello Park, it’s worth noting the incredible food and drink options the park will supply as well. The festival will feature 25 different participating wineries, as well as 13 different culinary options. Some notable local winery partners include 13th Street Winery, Niagara College Teaching Winery, Trius Winery and Restaurant and Wayne Gretzky Estates. Additionally, some of the festival’s culinary partners include Incoho Restaurant, Rose City Pizza, The WORKS Gourmet Burger Bistro and Marble Slab Creamery.

In addition to the many food and drink options provided by the festival, there will be numerous entertainment opportunities. The weekend of Sept. 16 will see a lineup from various music groups, a few of them being Jin, My Son the Hurricane, The Blackstones and Blind Mule. The Sept. 23 weekend will feature groups such as The Mandevilles, Avenue Inn, Jess & Tay, and more. 

Another aspect of Niagara’s Grape and Wine Festival that locals shouldn’t miss is the annual Grande Parade. Located on the streets of downtown St. Catharines, including but not limited to St. Paul Street, Geneva Street and Lake Street. The parade will begin at 11 a.m on Saturday, Sept. 24, and will last for approximately one hour. By including the event on the second-to-last day, the festival will end on a momentous note.

This year, in order to celebrate Niagara’s 70 years of Grape and Wine, the festival will be offering additional experiences for the duration of the month. Self-guided vineyard tours are available for purchase on the Grape and Wine Festival website, and will be offered during the last three weekends of the month. Additionally, the festival will also be holding the Pied Piper & Pups Parade for children on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m.

Overall, Niagara’s Grape and Wine Festival will be one to remember with the variety of events and activities offered this month in order to celebrate its 70 years. In doing so, the festival demonstrates Niagara’s significant history in relation to the region’s many vineyards and wineries. 

To learn more about Niagara’s Grape and Wine Festival, as well as the festivals’ sponsors and additional experiences, be sure to look on their website here.

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