Torrential rain, sticky humidity, and blustery wind — all are possible foes to contend with when planning a fun spring evening in Southern Indiana. One fail-proof option: Join vintners, restaurateurs, jazz musicians, and wine lovers under two large tents for Grapes on the Grass, a May 20 wine-tasting gala that thumbs its nose at Mother Nature’s mischief.
Not only do the tents shield partygoers from the elements, they create a sense of intimacy at Newburgh’s Old Lock and Dam along the majestic Ohio River. At the opening-night soirée for the sixth annual Historic Newburgh and Evansville Living Wine, Art & Jazz Festival, attendees can sample food from nine local restaurants. They also can taste wines from a dozen Hoosier wineries and vote on their favorites. (Last year, Indianapolis’ Easley Winery won four out of five categories and the overall People’s Choice Award.)
The adjacent tent will be dedicated to live music: Guitarist Ty Buttrum begins the night, and Owensboro, Ky.’s Second Street Band (an ensemble of musicians from the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra) wraps up the evening with big-band tunes. The high-energy music will give the gala “a whole different feel,” says Carol Hicks Schaefer, executive director of Historic Newburgh, Inc.
This year marks Schaefer’s first time leading the festival, which continues on Saturday, May 21. “What has been so refreshing and so amazing is that Newburgh is filled with people who are willing to give of their time,” she says. “This event has captured the imaginations and excitement of so many people.”
For more information, see our guide to the Historic Newburgh and Evansville
Living Wine, Art & Jazz Festival.