Taste of Swiss Heritage
music on tap for
29th annual Swiss Wine Festival
VEVAY, Ind. This small, Ohio River town provides
a peaceful respite for residents and visitors throughout the year, with
the exception of one week in late August. Thats when townspeople,
family, friends and visitors converge on Paul Ogle Park on Vevays
riverfront to celebrate the towns Swiss heritage.
The Swiss Wine Festival has been organized and operated each year since
1968 by a legion of local volunteers. The widely popular event features
four days of sporting activities, wine judging and tasting, amusement
rides, musical groups, folk dancing, riverboat cruises, arts and crafts
and commercial booths, a flea market, princess contest and, of course,
a parade. Theres also the wonderful food strudel, weiner
schnitzel, bratwurst and german potato salad.
Since its beginning, the festival has become a top
draw throughout the area. Mike Danner served as the events first
chairman and remains active. The festival is incorporated and operated
by a board, with any profits used to perpetuate the event.
Its the one time of the year when everyone comes down to
the river to have a good time, said Ann Mulligan, director of
the Switzerland County Welcome Center, headquarters for the Aug. 24-27
This year, three Indiana wineries plan to take part in the Gala
Wine Judging and wine tasting pavilion. In addition, amateur
applications are available at the Welcome Center for homemade
wines to be judged.
The wines will be judged Aug. 19 at the Schenck Mansion, 206 W. Turnpike
St., Vevay. Tickets for the event are $15 and can be reserved in advance
by calling the Welcome Center or be purchased at the door.
The historic mansion was built in 1874 by Benjamin Franklin Schenck,
the wealthy hay king of the steamboat era. It was designed
by Cincinnati architect George Hum-phreys. Two years ago, Jerry and
Lisa Fisher bought the house with plans to convert it into a bed and
breakfast. It should be open by October, they said.
Using the slogan, Come Enjoy a Taste of Our Heritage, organizers
will set up a wine tasting pavilion on the festival grounds, where visitors
can sample and purchase wines from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.
to 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Wine tasting tickets
are 50 cents each.
Beer connoisseurs, meanwhile, can enjoy their favorite beverages at
the Beer Garden, where live entertainment is scheduled Friday and Saturday
nights. The Beer Garden opens Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
More bands scheduled for this years festival
For this 29th annual event, organizers have allotted more money for
entertainment, so the schedule is full of all types of musical groups.
The list includes country, rock, bluegrass, Dixieland and folk bands.
Admission to the festival is $2 adults and $1 for children ages 5-12.
Under 5 is free. This year, however, organizers have waived the admission
charges for Thursday night to help kick off the event.
Thursdays lineup includes a talent contest, Community Grape Stomp
and two princess contests for girls ages 14-16 and 17-21.
to stay busy at festival
The Edelweiss Teen Princess Contest is for girls ages 14-16, with the
winner to receive a $250. The winner of the Edelweiss Princess contest
will receive $500 and become eligible to compete in the Indiana State
Festival Association Scholarship Pageant for a $1,500 scholarship.
The Swiss Wine Festival is a member of the Indiana Stage Festivals Association,
which promotes the growth of festivals within the state by providing
seminars for festival organizers.
Both Edelweiss princesses will represent the festival throughout the
rest of the week by presenting trophies to event winners.
Friday will get the festival off to a musical start with live entertainment
beginning at 4 p.m. (slow time) on the Main Stage. Cruises on the Dottie
G will begin at noon and run throughout the weekend. A 3K River Mini
Run will take place Friday evening, along with yet another Grape Stomp.
Following an invigorating 5K River Walk/Run on Saturday morning, the
Grand Festival Parade will step off at 10 a.m. and wind through the
streets of town. The day will be filled with all sorts of musical entertainment,
sporting events and folk traditions, such as stein tossing and grape
Folk dancers will perform in the afternoon and evening, some inviting
the crowd onto the dance floor to take part in the traditional chicken
dance. If you dont know the chicken dance, youll soon
learn it after hearing dozens of rounds of the addictive European favorite
Around dusk on Saturday, the skies over the river town will light up
with a fireworks show, sponsored by the Belterra Resort and Casino.
Sundays schedule will feature more music and folk dancing, also
sporting events and a high energy cheerleading contest among area high
Dont forget the Duck Race at $2 a duck with the winner to receive
Amusement rides to add excitement for youths
For the third year, amusement rides are being provided by DP Amusements
of Newburgh, Ind. They feature the hurricane, scrambler, giant slide
and something for all ages. Advance ride tickets are available at the
Welcome Center for three tickets for $2.50.
Tickets during the festival are 10 tickets for $10 or $1.25 each. Each
ride requires only one ticket.
Theres something for everyone at the Swiss Wine Festival. And
dont be surprised if you see lots of lederhosen and lace, since
many people come dressed in traditional Swiss wardrobe.
And dont worry, after a few glasses of Indiana wine or a few mugs
of German beer, the chicken dance is a piece of cake.
Applications for these events and booth rentals
are available at the Welcome Center, 209 Ferry St. Or call (812) 427-3237
or 1-800-HELLO-VV. Pick Up Your Free Copy of RoundAbout Madison for
the official 16-Page Swiss Wine Festival & Souvenir Guide!
Back to August 2000 Articles.