WHEELING - The clink of wine glasses mixed with the melodious sounds of jazz filling the air at Wheeling's Heritage Port on Saturday as several hundred patrons enjoyed the fifth annual Wheeling Wine & Jazz Festival.
A later start time - 4 p.m. - and a perfect summer evening combined to bring the largest crowd yet for the festival, sponsored by Main Street Bank. Event Chairman Greg Smith agreed that this year's crowd appeared pleased with the improvements to the accommodations and the later time slot for the event.
Last year, the festival started at noon, the hottest time of the day.
Photo by Heather Ziegler
Frank Tuckwiller, operator of the Watts Roost Vineyard of Lewisburg, W.Va., pours a bit of the grape for Sharon Zdinak of Richmond, Ohio, during Saturday’s fifth annual Wheeling Wine and Jazz Festival at Heritage Port.
"This is just an excellent night with great jazz and several wineries including the local Good Mansion Wines," Smith said. "We have more wineries this year and great vendors."
Robert and Cathy Rohrig of Wheeling agreed the festival is a "wonderful event for Wheeling" and they plan to attend again.
"Main Street Bank has done a great job. It's five-star event," Robert Rohrig said.
Kelly and Susan Moore of Wheeling said they have attended all five festivals and gave high praise for this year's event. They said the first festival was very small and this year's event was spread out in a more comfortable setting along the waterfront.
David Alfred, who teaches music in Ohio County Schools as does Susan Moore, said they enjoy seeing and hearing some former music students performing at the festival. Among them are musicians with the Travis Hoard Jazz Ensemble which includes Hoard, mandolinist Alex Wudarski, guitarist Dan Pierson, Tony Faini on drums and Eric Jernigan on bass.
Plans are in the works for next year's festival which officials hope will grow after word spreads about this year's success.