First Friday Wine Walks offer a new taste of downtown

January 17, 2012

By Tom Corrigan

The artEAST Art Center and UP Front Gallery, which always participates in ArtWalk in the summer, will be one of six locations on Front Street to take part Feb. 3 in the inaugural First Friday Wine Walk. File

Adding to its list of events to draw more visitors to downtown, the DownTown Issaquah Association announces First Friday Wine Walk from 5-8 p.m. Feb. 3.

Wine Walk, following other popular events such as ArtWalk and a zombie invasion, will feature boutique wine tasting at six locations up and down Front Street.

“It should be fun,” said Karen Donovan, the association’s executive director. “I’m excited.”

Wineries will include Lodmell Winery in Walla Walla; Woodinville’s Smasne Cellars; and, Castillo de Feliciana. Several Wine Walk locations will feature live entertainment to include acoustic guitarist “Uncle Phil” Hansen; guitarist and composer Angelo Pizarro; vocal group Bodacious Ladyhood; and, pianist Meg Mann.

One stop on the Wine Walk is the artEAST Art Center and UP Front Gallery and the event coincides with the opening of the new exhibit, “Love Songs: Love is in the Air,” Karen Abel, artEAST executive director, said. The exhibit is sort of themed around St. Valentine’s Day and, featuring the works of roughly 20 artists, the exhibit opens Jan. 20.

Locations include artbyfire, the First Stage Theatre, Illuminate, Museo Art Academy and Thrive Naturopathic Clinic.

The Issaquah Wine Walks were modeled after similar events in other local cities, such as Bothell, Donovan said. Future Wine Walks are scheduled for March 2 and April 6. Donovan said the association is hoping for a good turnout, but did not want to speculate on attendance as the upcoming event is a first for Issaquah.

If you go

First Friday Wine Walk

  • 5-8 p.m. Feb. 3
  • $20 in advance; $25 at the door
  • Tickets include six drink tokens. A special rate of $50 per ticket is available for all three Wine Walk events in February, March and April.
  • Check-in starts at 4 p.m. at the Hailstone Feedstore, 232 Front St. N.

Front Street shops and restaurants will be open to the general public during the Wine Walk and those under 21 may visit the tasting locations. However, you must be 21 or older to purchase wine tasting tickets.

Wine will not be permitted outside of designated areas. Maps of tasting locations, plastic cups, wine tokens and a wristband will be provided during check-in. The event will take place rain or shine.

Wine Walk sponsors include Vino Bella, Montalcino and Fischer Meats. A portion of event proceeds will benefit the association and other area nonprofit organizations. In 2011, the DownTown Issaquah Association helped support artEAST, Village Theatre and the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.

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