10th annual Taste of New Kent festival shines at new location


The 10th annual A Taste of a New Kent festival brought wine lovers from across the commonwealth together Saturday.

The festival took place at its new location in Maidstone Village. Vendor tents were set up throughout the circular parking lot of the development, allowing visitors to walk around with ease.

Visitors enjoyed fine weather with overcast skies in the high 70s, accompanied by a cool breeze.

Transportation from parking near the middle and high schools was provided by Bay Transit buses, making it easy for visitors to get to the event site

There were various wineries from central Virginia, food vendors and retail vendors set up throughout the event. Visitors leisurely sampled wines, enjoyed food and looked at local, handmade products. Jazz band Slapnation performed smooth jazz throughout the afternoon.

New Kent resident Stan Trout said he thinks the new event location is great.

“I’ve been to most of the A Taste of New Kent festivals,” Trout said. “People are really trickling in. There’s great parking and transportation to the event site by Bay Transit. I think it’s going to be a real success, it’s always a great event.”

Juanita Clary from Hanover County said she prefers the new location, as it makes it easier to walk around.

“I’ve been when it was at New Kent Winery,” Clary said. “There’s more room and its more spread out here. It’s just great.”

Byrd Cellars Vineyard & Winery owner Kathy Murray said they have been attending and selling their wine at the event for a few years.

“I like the new location. It gives us more room. It’s beautiful outside; last year there was a ton of mud,” Murray said. “We love coming to this event every year, we always look forward to it.”

Sandi Skates from Yorktown had never been to the festival before and said she plans to come back.

“Everything is just great, the weather is fantastic,” Skates said. “I’ve really enjoyed the wine and food I’ve tried.”

Del. Chris Peace, R-Mechanicsville, who represents New Kent, had a vendor tent for his family owned and operated winery, White Plains Farm & Vineyard.

“This is the first time we’ve been at this event. We are really enjoying it and enjoy seeing everyone,” Peace said. “It’s at a great location and it’s a great event for New Kent.”

The New Kent Chamber of Commerce has been planning the event for about a year, according to Director of Membership Ericka Johnson.

“Everything has turned out great,” Johnson said. “Everyone seems to be enjoying the new location and all of the great food, wine and music.”

Eric Pesola, Chamber Director of Marketing and Digital Media, said the chamber is considering holding the event at Maidstone Village again next year around the beginning of May.

Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038 or aluck@tidewaterreview.com

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