I’m so looking forward to my weekend visit to the Willcox Wine Country Fall Festival in the Railroad Avenue Park, just an hour’s drive east of Tucson on I-10. As they say in Willcox, “It’s not too far, but feels a world away.” The festival is on tap for this Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21, from 10am to 5pm each day.
This two-day fun-filled event focuses on wine tasting and meeting the Arizona winemakers who make it so. For a $15 tasting fee, festival-goers receive 8 wine tastings, a commemorative wine glass, and will enjoy live entertainment. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased at the hospitality kiosk. Choose from more than 60 wines from 13 Arizona wineries at this event; be among the first to taste some of these wines, many of which are new or recent releases.
There will be plenty of live entertainment on hand as you make your way around the park to taste the wines.
On Saturday, October 20, Buzz and the Soul Senders will be providing entertainment. This is a versatile group of talented musicians from southern Arizona with a strong background in blues and funky soul.
On Sunday, October 21, local favorites from Bisbee, Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl with Sam and Daniele Panther, will play an eclectic mix of styles along with their own critically acclaimed songs. Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl have received rave reviews of their most recent CD Children of Fortune. Not only is their music uniquely Arizona, it is an exciting update of the Folk/Americana genre.
13 to the Gallows will be closing the event on Sunday, October 21. The group mixes classic country style with contemplative lyrics and a self-described “spaghetti western” vibe. This Peoria, AZ-based band is a gem shining from the Arizona desert dust.
On Saturday, the 20, TRUST Art & Design will give away an original artwork by a local artist. Everyone who buys a bottle of wine can enter the drawing. They will also conduct a silent auction at the TRUST Art & Design booth in the park, featuring local artwork, so stop by and bid on your favorite piece(s).
Other vendors will be scattered throughout the park, where you’ll discover locally grown pecans, olive oils, food mixes, jams and jellies, jewelry, gifts, and more.
Movie Night Bonus
Starlight Hotel is a 1987 film by Arizona winemaker and movie director Sam Pillsbury, who will be screening this family-friendly film. This after-hours special event will be held just 35 short steps across the street from the park, on Saturday, October 20, at 6pm, at the Rex Allen Theatre. There will be no admission fee, but generous donations at this viewing will help reopen this historic theater to the public.
According to a review that ran in the New York Times, the movie is set in the Great Depression. Kate (Greer Robson) is a 13-year-old girl living on New Zealand’s South Island, whose mother dies and father takes work far away. Kate is sent to live with an aunt, until she runs away to find her father. She hops onto a boxcar and befriends a fellow fugitive, Patrick (Peter Phelps), an emotionally battle-scarred WWI veteran. The two use each other for cover as they make their way across New Zealand, sleeping under the stars (hence the film’s title), and championing the rights of destitute farmers and homeless squatters whose fortunes have been wiped out by economic hardship.
I’ll see you in Willcox this weekend, woo woo woo (that’s my railroad train sound).