Crowds pack Atascadero Lake Park for wine festival
Proceeds benefit the zoo, fire department, other beneficiaries
– The 25th Annual Atascadero Wine Festival packed Atascadero Lake Park from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday afternoon and evening. About 1300 people attended the festival. It featured local wine, beer, and distilled cider. The wine festival also included live bands, including Deja Vu, and Erin and the Earthquakes. Josh Cross of the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce said the event utilized all of the park – from the lake to the zoo. The shade of the giant oak trees in the Atascadero Lake Park provided shade during the afternoon, and a cool breeze came up in the evening. Again this year, some of the wineries and breweries set up booths inside the Charles Paddock Zoo. While artists painted a giant mural, visitors posed for photos at an outdoor photo booth. Barbie Butz has helped with the festival for many years. “I told people for years that we had a “Normal Rockwell park, and should use it. Now we’re using it for the wine festival. It’s turned out to be one of the best wine, beer, and distilled cider events in the county. For the last several years, we’ve opened up the zoo, and had some wine and beer booths inside the zoo.”
Zoo Director Alan Baker said, “Most of the animals enjoyed the evening visitors, but some of them went to bed as they usually do. The weather wasn’t too hot, and it cooled down when the sun went behind the mountains. It was a nice evening.”
Some of the proceeds benefit the zoo but proceeds also benefit the Atascadero Fire Department and other beneficiaries. Deputy Atascadero City Manager Terrie Banish and others working on the festival began setting up at 6 a.m. They stayed long after the event concluded and cleaned up the park by 10:30 p.m. Saturday evening.
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