SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — “The only way to stand in the rain is with a glass of wine.” That’s what Glenburn Twp. resident Chris Woodley said as he sampled wines with his wife Linda at South Abington Park.
Woodley said that during the last few rainy minutes of an otherwise sunny second annual Cheers to Spring Wine Festival April 28. It was a brighter day than last year’s festival, which saw rain all day. The nice weather allowed people to come to the park to sample libations from many local wineries.
“We were so positive it was going to be a sunny day,” said Erin Osterhout, a member of Abington Heights Civic League, who founded the fundraiser. “We had a real ‘spring’ festival. It was a lot of fun.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds go to non-profit organizations and programs in the Abington area, including local fire companies and The Gathering Place as well as the Memory Garden and the upcoming Forever Young Fishing Derby, which are both at Eston Wilson Lake in Hillside Park. Last year, the civic league donated $2,500 to build a new pavilion at South Abington Park. The members plan to donate that same amount this year.
“Our profits are enough that we can bless the community with donations,” said civic league president Cheryl O’Hora.
The civic league also raised funds with raffle baskets and sold soft drinks to raise money for the Abington Heights Marching Band.
Marilake Winery and Restaurant located in Childs was one of the festival vendors. Co-owner John Marino, who opened this establishment with his brother Ken, poured wine samples, including his best-selling flavor — pineapple — with his employees Liz Cardona and Eric Nielsen.
“It’s beautiful,” Marino said about the festival. “It’s our first time here. We’re surprised that we did so well.”
Jeremy Yakus and his wife Amanda served up chardonnay, pinot grigio, reisling and Tuscan red reserve, all made from Bartolai Winery (located in Harding).
Offering customers food with their wine, Newton Twp. resident Heidi Smith, who specializes in making grilled cheese and tater tots, brought her food truck called The Food Cube.
“Cheese always goes with wine,” she said.
Smith takes her truck to festivals in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, including wine festivals.
Heather Percival and Lisa Burke, both vendors at Township Trading Post, sold their items at the festival. Percival, whose business is called Grace Antony Boutique, vends clothing, shoes, jewelry and other accessories.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for the community to attend a fun event that, in turn, helps the community,” she said. “The Abington Heights Civic League raises a lot of funds for different community needs.”
Burke makes soy wax candles for her business called Luminosa Designs. Township Trading Post houses 17 small businesses, including Percival’s and Burke’s businesses. It also is the second location of Mucciolo Family Wines (the original location is in Old Forge), which also offered samples at the festival.
Lee Jamison sold his homemade jams, jellies and sauces at the festival. His business, which is partnered with Township Trading Post, is called Annie’s Country Kitchen. People can order his items by phone, online or in person at the trading post.
Crystal Skies, a local band from Clarks Summit consisting of three generations, Frank Savaro, his son Mike and his grandson Austin, performed classic rock music under the park’s pavilion.
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