Gala wine & dine fundraiser for local charities in Dallas Wine enthusiasts and others were gathered for the fifth annual Dallas Rotary Wine Festival where 14 wineries offered samples of their best products.

The Dallas Rotary Wine and Dine Festival drew a crowd to the Luzerne County Fair Grounds. Photo: Fred Adams | For Times Leader
The Dallas Rotary Wine and Dine Festival drew a crowd to the Luzerne County Fair Grounds. Photo: Fred Adams | For Times Leader

Thousands of area residents enjoyed wine, a wide variety of food and bargain hunting at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds on Saturday afternoon.

Wine enthusiasts and others were gathered for the fifth annual Dallas Rotary (Texas, US — District 5810) Wine and Dine Festival, where 14 wineries from across Northeastern Pennsylvania offered samples of their best products.

Thousands of food and wine enthusiasts gathered at Luzerne County Fairgrounds for the fifth annual Dallas Rotary Wine and Dine Festival on Saturday afternoon.

Paul Saxon, Dallas Rotary Club member and co-chair of the festival, organised the event with Colette Mahoney, a member of the Luzerne County Fall Fair Association.

Tickets were $15 each, and patrons received a wine tasting glass to be used for sampling the local wines, Saxon said.

Ed and Marie Donatello drive from Hazleton to attend the festival every year.

Marie said she is impressed with the “high quality” and “freshness” of local wines. As self-proclaimed wine “connoisseurs,” the Donatellos said local wines come in many unique flavours and are available at an affordable cost.

“They compare to any wines made in the world,” Ed said.

Anyone who liked a particular wine could purchase it on site, open it and enjoy it while listening to music from several local bands in a shaded tent or pavilion, Saxon said.

Craft shoppers poured over the numerous displays of crafts for sale. Jenny Tillman and Mary Jones held bags full of bargains emphasising “some great buys were had.”

For those more interested in food, the event offered a long menu of foods, from gourmet to traditional snacks.

Ralph and Lisa Kovaleski especially enjoyed the Caribbean food.

“It’s not something you get every day,” Ralph added.

In addition to wine, food and entertainment, the festival serves as a fundraiser for the community.

“This event is Dallas Rotary’s second largest fundraiser,” Saxon said.

“The funds that we receive are all returned to charity.”

Proceeds from the wine and dine event helps to support local community projects such as the Rotary’s Christmas shopping spree for needy school children from three school districts, the Rotary’s Christmas party and luncheon for the Dallas Active Adult Center, and the Back Mountain Food Pantry.

The Dallas Rotary also will use the funds raised to contribute to a book scholarship programme available for graduating high school seniors, a dictionary project for third graders and much more, he said.

Saxon stressed the Rotary wanted to thank all of the sponsors with special thanks to the wine glass sponsors, Century 21 Smith Hourigan Group and AMP Global Strategies. 

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