Two exciting festivals arrive this weekend in Starved Rock Country. Enjoy the highly anticipated return of the Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Festival, a celebration of delicious food, live music and fan-favorite wineries, that runs through Sunday, and the inaugural FForest Festival, which brings a music festival, food truck rally, and vendors market to Morris Gold Park.
The Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Festival, now in its eleventh year, is one of the signature annual festivals held in Starved Rock Country. This celebration of viticulture and great live music gathered guests from all over the state and across the country for three full days of fun. The festivities began on Friday evening and will continue through Sunday.
The festival, which is managed and coordinated by Floret Events LLC in partnership with the City of Ottawa, takes place at the sprawling event space on the Jordan Block, located at the end of the downtown Ottawa shopping district – steps from the Illinois River. 2022 business hours have been extended; The festivities will run on Saturday from noon to nine in the evening and on Sunday from noon to five in the evening
The ticket-winning event features 10 famous wineries, distilleries and craft breweries that will provide tastings. Each wine festival ticket for adult guests includes a wristband, a trophy, and a set of tasting tickets for use at the liquor vendors at the event. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased on site. This year’s vendors include: August Hill Winery, The Pour Vineyard, Juicy Luzy Sangria, Sable Creek Winery, West of Wise Winery, Star Union Spirits, Walt’s Tap, DESTIHL Brewery, Tangled Roots Brewing Company, and Austria lodge. Guests of all ages are welcome to enjoy the festival, but only attendees age 21 and older are allowed in the tasting area.
The 2022 festival will see the music line-up piling up, including Nick Litt from popular pop band High on Stress in Minneapolis, rock legends Miles Nielsen and The Rusted Hearts and the recently reunited Alt-Country band Backyard Tire Fire. Additional works include saxophonist Lucas Sanur, Americana style from Aaron Kelly Trio, and Bloomington-based Dan Hubbard, along with local favorites Kevin Roek and Daniel Wilkins. This event will be held rainy or shine. While Jordan Block has a selection of picnic tables, guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs.
For more information and to see the full schedule of live music, be sure to visit www.OttawaWineFest.com.
FForest Festival, whose name derives from “fForest,” a Norwegian word meaning “do, be, make in nature,” is a new vendor market and music festival that embraces these qualities. This Saturday will be held in Gold Park under a dense canopy of mature trees, where guests will enjoy nature while enjoying the arts and entertainment. Entry to the fun, eclectic event is only $5 and will give you access to a full day of live music, various vendors and an artisan market, and a delicious food cart rally.
Today’s music lineup features a little something for everyone, including Nevada-based singer-songwriter Liam Kyle Cahill, Andrew David Webber (known for his work with Milwaukee-based band Whiskey of the Damned), and The Homeless Gospel Choir (popular folk – Punk band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, due to open later this year for My Chemical Romance), The Tossers (a six-piece Celtic punk band who toured with Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Reverend Horton Heat and The Pogues) and Run Forrest Run (Chicago’s premier ’90s tribute band, which will round out the night with a singing and dancing party).
The food truck rally will feature tempting offers from Deb’s Kettle Corn, Edroll’s Filipino Fusino, The Country Seat Pizza, Ben’s Soft Pretzels, Flyin Hawaiian, Big D’s Hotdogs, Moe Joe’s, Big Boom BBQ and Tacos Before Vatos. There will be a beverage trailer serving a variety of drinks for adults, including handcrafted and local beer. Mobile beer carts will also be located throughout the event site.
Morris’ legendary vintage store True North will sponsor a massive seller’s market, highlighting over 100 sellers. The assortment features a great mix of antiques, antiques, makers, plants/gardens, apparel, used/recycled clothing, furniture, and fixtures from around the Midwest. Gates open at 10 am. Be sure to arrive early to see the sprawling selections of the retailers. While many vendors may accept credit cards, FForest Fest organizers encourage shoppers to bring cash. Vendor activities and demos will take place throughout the day, along with yoga classes and a live charity auction.
For more information and for a complete list of suppliers and events, go to www.FForestFest.com.