Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wine festival to return to Wilson County

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Pictured, from left: Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto; Roger Tyo of TDS Telecom; Anita Spicer of the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce; David Gerkin and Brandon Edwards, both of Edwards Porter Group; and Wilson County Exposition Center Director Charity Toom

2017 Toast to Tennessee set for Expo Center

Earlier this week, the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce announced plans to bring its signature event, the Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival, back to Wilson County for its 14th year.

For the past several years, due to a lack of space in the county that would allow for alcohol to be served, the fund-raiser has been held outside of Wilson County, but chamber officials said the upcoming completion of the Wilson County Exposition Center will make it possible to bring the popular festival back to the county.

"We are so excited to host the wine festival at the expo. This is huge for the expo and Wilson County on many different fronts. This will be the first time in many years that the wine festival has come to our county, proving that Wilson County is the place to be. I would like to thank (Mt. Juliet Chamber President) Mark Hinesley personally for his leadership and guidance in this project," Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said.

The Toast to Tennessee Wine Festival has grown with each passing year, and attendance in 2017 is expected to exceed 4,000. The festival celebrates Tennessee agritourism and is supported by Pick Tennessee Products and the Tennessee Farm Wine Growers Association. It regularly features more than two dozen Tennessee wineries, more than 40 local artisans and specialty food vendors in addition to wine and food experience seminars.

"Moving to the expo center provides us with a great opportunity to expand and rebrand," Hinesley said. "Even with our tremendous success in the last 13 years, this change of venue will allow us to make it even better. Festivalgoers will be pleased with the changes we're planning for the 2017 festival, such as adding a beer tasting area and a row of popular food trucks just outside. The sky is the limit at our new location."

He continued, "We would especially like to thank our two returning title sponsors, Edwards Porter Group and TDS Telecom. We couldn't pull this festival together without their generous support, and we look forward to a continued partnership in 2017."

Hinesley added the list of vendors and sponsors would be updated over the next few months at Announcements about "other exciting changes and enhancements" will also be made available on the website, and ticket discounts and other promotions will be available on the festival's Facebook page.

Wilson County Expo Center Director of Marketing Charity Toombs said the center is honored to host the 2017 wine festival.

"This signature event is key to our community, and we are excited to be a part," she remarked.

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Charity Toombs, event, Expo Center, festival, James E. Ward Ag Center, Lebanon, Mark Hinesley, Mt. Juliet, Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce, Randall Hutto, Toast of Tennessee, Wilson County Fairgrounds, wine
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