“This is better than we expected,” said Jennifer Mazur, city clerk and liaison to the sponsoring city recreation commission.
“We were nervous about the forecast, but it worked out for us.”
The commission virtually sold out of the 200 presale tickets and had 144 walk-ins by 4:15 for the 3 to 8 p.m. event, she said.
Mazur said the funds raised from the recreation commission events goes to improve the city. For example, the commission will sponsor the Railfest on Aug. 3, and funds raised also resulted in new cooking grills and the planting of apple trees at Wohlfarth’s Pond.
A chance to try a variety of wines and beer was clearly a major attraction as many people carried their goblets around.
“I’m a picky wine drinker,” said Julie Chapin of Gloversville. “This is perfect to try all these local wines.”
“I like the fruity ones.”
“The environment [of the festival] is great—everyone is so nice,” said Davina Jodway, who with Brandon Lasher, visited the fair for the first time.
“There are so many wine selections,” said the St. Johnsville resident.
It was Karly Vdoviak’s birthday, so she said, “My friend said let’s go down to the festival.”
“I saw a lot of nice stores I didn’t know about,” said the Johnstown resident.
Bountiful, a home and gifts store at 34 N. Main St., was open, and the festival “is definitely bringing in more traffic,” said co-owner Sarah Lombardoni. “A lot of people didn’t know we were here.”
Festival-goers were sampling Schenectady Distilling Company’s gin, moonshine, two types of whiskey and bourbon. “It’s a tie between bourbon and Muleshine” as the most chosen drinks, said Christine DeMento.
Dan Watkins of Palatable Pepper Products of Glens Falls offered many choices. Pepper notwithstanding, “I have flavors for people who don’t like hot,” he said.
The internet played a role in drawing people to the festival. “I saw it on Facebook yesterday,” said Taylor Miller of Gloversville. “I’m glad I came down.”
Cake and brownie cups were a favorite item at Relay for Life booth, said Maria Bush of Gloversville.
The Let’s Take a Stand Relay team was present to “raise awareness about cancer and raise money for the American Cancer Society” branch in Fulton and Montgomery counties, she said.
Kendall Lifgren of Cooperstown was painting a tree at Nick’s Paint Parties of Corinth. “I love drawing trees because I like climbing,” she said.
The festival was also a social event for many people. “I’ve seen lots of people I haven’t seen in a long time,” said Chris Pesses of Gloversville. “There are people here I haven’t seen in 10 years.”