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Laker Weekly | file
Vendors are expected to go through 1,200 cases of wine during the event's two days.
Laker Weekly | File 2012
A record crowd -- about 8,000 people -- attended the 2012 festival.
Friday, September 27, 2013
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival, we give you 25 facts about the lake's top fundraising event.
1. About 8,000 people attended the 2012 festival — a record crowd. The first wine festival in 1988 attracted the fewest number of visitors - 100.
2. About a mile of fencing needed for the festival is put in place by trustees from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department. It takes from a day to a day and a half to complete.
3. Domino has performed at the festival seven times, more than any other band.
4. Vendors are expected to go through 1,200 cases of wine during the event's two days.
5. It will take 150 volunteers to stage this year's festival.
6. Attendance always has been higher on Saturdays than on Sundays.
7. During the two-day festival, 1,000 20-pound bags of ice will be used.
8. A team of community service workers, directed by Teresa Tyree of SML Wildlife Control, will help vendors set up and handle trash pickup daily.
9. Only 27 wineries are allowed to participate in the festival. There's typically a waiting list of 10 to 15 others that would like to get in.
10. New vendors this year are Color the World, 31 Gifts, Bill's Furniture, Michael Costello (hand-carved wood and stone sculptures), Devine Baskets by Brenda, Bratt Unlimited (candle bottle sensations), Origami Owl, "Autism... a Piece of My Heart," Sugar Grove Studio, Nova Pro vintage dresses, Women on Wine, Stitch N Style, Kay's Creations, Ginny Lee Creations, Sandra's Frame Shop, Blue Ridge Bonzai and William Bishop & ReGreen Photography.
11. In the past five years, it's rained on both days of the festival once; three times there was rain for one day and in 2012, the weather was "glorious" all weekend, according to Jim Shauberger, former event manager for the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the festival.
12. "Lake Effects," a movie that was shot at SML, featured a pivotal scene at a re-creation of the wine festival.
13. The Manor at Taylor's Store B&B Country Inn near Burnt Chimney was the setting for the first festival. During the early years, there was a grape-stomping booth for children, hot air balloon rides and educational talks about wine tasting. The SML Regional Chamber of Commerce took over the festival in 1992.
14. In 2008, the festival moved inland from the waterfront at Bernard's Landing to LakeWatch Plantation because adequate parking space was needed. LakeWatch Plantation has about 45 acres of parking in the immediate area; Bernard's had about 20 acres.
15. If you want to use your GPS for directions, the official address is 14374 Booker T. Washington Highway.
16. The Virginia legislature in April voted to recognize the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival on its 25th anniversary.
17. The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival has more than 1,353 "Likes" on its Facebook page.
18. About 25 volunteers from the Scruggs Volunteer Fire Department will handle parking.
19. Visitors who are observed to be overserved will be taken to an ABC-controlled tent and held until a designated driver comes to their assistance.
20. Last year, the festival attracted visitors from as far away as California, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Nebraska.
21. In 2008, 300 bales of straw were brought in to offset the mud from two days of rain.
22. Available this year will be 30 portable toilets and four handicapped-accessible portable toilets spread out over four locations. They will be serviced on Saturday night in preparation for Sunday's crowd.
23. The festival is considered one of the top three in the state, according to Shauberger.
24. Volunteers are not allowed to sample the wine while on duty.
25. Planning for the next SML Wine Festival begins in November.
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