Last weekend, Jared and I decided to head out to our Alma Mater to attend the Hops, Vines and Wines Festival in Selinsgrove.  We were really excited to see that Selinsgrove had an event like this.  There are so many great wineries and craft breweries in PA that we were sure the line-up would be fantastic.  And for $40 a person plus a 3 hour+ drive, we were hoping the trip would be worth it!

We bought the tickets the first day they went on sale.  They sold out pretty much the next day, meaning my friends who were thinking about attending would not be going this year!  This worried me a bit. We’ve been to a lot of festivals like this where you end up waiting in a huge entrance line only to elbow people  just to get a few ounces of beer/wine.

I can say with great pleasure that this was the best beer and wine festival we’ve ever been to.  Due to some unexpected road closures early in our trip Saturday morning, we didn’t arrive until after 2.  We were worried the line would be halfway down the state by that point.  But it wasn’t. We walked right in!  The volunteers were very friendly, handing us our complimentary tasting glass and letting us know that all the food was free, and that water bottles were free as well.

The best part of the festival was that we walked right up to all of the vendors.  The layout was perfect, allowing people to move around while still getting to hang out around their favorite booths.  And, as expected, the breweries/wineries in attendance were fantastic. The beer vendors were also very generous with their samples, which is always a plus.

I think the best part of the festival (besides seeing a lot of great people I haven’t seen in awhile!) was the fact that all of the food was free.  They had sausage sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza, veggie wraps, chips, etc.  While I think they started running out toward the end, it was nice to not have to worry about paying for food-and the lines for that weren’t long either!

Susquehanna University should definitely consider doing something in conjunction with this event.  For the younger crowd, it’s certainly a reason to make the trek back for those of us that are further, and it would have been nice to be able to interact with more people while we were already out there.

Overall, the Selinsgrove Beer and Wine Festival gets major points for understanding their limits as far as the crowd is concerned.  Even though I’m sure they could have sold more tickets and made more money, the main attraction of this event was that it wasn’t overcrowded, which made us feel like we got the full experience for what we paid.  We’re definitely marking our calendars to buy tickets early again next year-we would hate to miss out on such an awesome day or beer and wine!

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