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Festival attracts hundreds to try food, wine finds

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Auburn Wine & Food Festival is turning into a regional attraction. With just under 500 people roaming a record 25 different locations in Downtown and Old Town, committee member Teri Gibson said Saturday’s event attracted participants from not only Placer and nearby counties but drew attendees from as far away as Reno, San Jose, Redding and the Bay Area. The event, a joint effort between the Placer County Wine and Grape Association and the Downtown and Old Town business associations, made the task of visiting as many venues as possible an easy one, with a shuttle bus available and destinations close together. The attraction for many was the pairing of samples from local wineries with food prepared by Auburn-area restaurants. Kathy Crockett of Auburn said the festival also gave her an opportunity to check out the stores and boutiques playing host to the wineries and eateries. “The food was excellent,” Crockett said, enthusing about some particularly tasty lamb meatballs and chocolate-covered strawberries. “And the wines were all lovely. It’s exciting to think that they are all local wines.” Gibson said the event is a boon for local shop owners as well as wineries and restaurants. The total of 25 locations was the most ever for the festival. Last year, there were 22. “It gives people an opportunity to see what local shops carry,” Gibson said. “We have a lot of unique shops here.” Estimated attendance was just less than 500, down from 530 tickets sold last year. The event, which is held annually on the second Saturday afternoon of October, will be held again next year, Gibson added. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com.