A New Experience Comes to Gig Harbor

Celebrate the region’s wine, beers, spirits and food

By Jillian Chandler | Photo by Josh Sherwin, Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance | Article provided by Gig Harbor Living Local

What began eight years ago as an afternoon of food and wine tastings at Harbor History Museum has now evolved into a three-day wine and food experience that you won’t soon forget. Held during the final weekend in July, The Gig Harbor Wine & Food Experience will celebrate the region’s wine, beers, spirits and food at various business locations throughout the downtown waterfront.

In celebration of the Downtown Waterfront Alliance’s 10th anniversary, they decided to revamp what was formerly known as The Wine & Food Festival, starting with its new name—The Gig Harbor Wine & Food Experience—and offering three days to celebrate all that’s great in local food and drink, with Celebrity Cruises as its 2018 premier sponsor.

The “experience” kicks off Friday, July 27, 6 to 10pm, with a Pier to Table Dinner, sponsored by Kitsap Bank. Those who purchase tickets to the dinner “will enjoy an exclusive evening of dining and dancing under the stars in the beautiful outdoor courtyard at the Harbor History Museum,” says Josh Sherwin, special projects coordinator for the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance.

Attendees will be treated to a cocktail hour featuring beverages provided by Heritage Distilling Co., 7 Seas Brewing and Willamette Valley Vineyards, silent auction, live music by pianist Elijah Bossenbroek and a four-course meal served family style. On the menu? Alaskan salmon with farm-to-table accompaniments prepared by Chef Richard Dengler and Christina Dengler, owners of Devoted Kiss Café, with help from local chefs. The evening concludes with dancing featuring award-winning vocalist Paul Green and his Quartet. Tickets to this exclusive event are $150, while supplies last.

The Waterfront Block Party, sponsored by U.S. Bank, takes place Saturday, July 28, noon to 5pm. There will be delights you are sure to enjoy. “We have 24 downtown businesses participating as ‘Party Stops,’” says Josh. “There are 20 wineries, three breweries, a distillery and 20 food providers including many of our best local restaurants, altogether offering an amazing variety of offerings.  We designed the Block Party to be a step up from the Sip & Strolls and are excited to have achieved that goal.”

Attendees will enjoy wine and food pairings featuring the finest wines, brews, spirits and food from the Pacific Northwest at multiple locations downtown. As you stroll the streets and visit the various Party Stops, you’ll experience a variety of live entertainment, courtesy of the Broadway Center for Performing Arts. Tacoma’s popular Kim Archer, local favorite Jamie LeMessurier, Gina Belliveau, Elijah Bossenbroek, David Cathers and the entertaining duo The Happy Sinners will add excitement to this already incredible event. Admission to the Waterfront Block Party is $45 if purchased before July 15, $50 July 16 through 27 and $55 the day of (if still available). Ticket includes a souvenir wine glass and 15 sip tickets.

The event concludes Sunday, July 29, when several downtown restaurants will be offering Champagne Brunches featuring specially prepared menus—a perfect way to cap off the weekend. Participating restaurants are Brix 25, JW Restaurant, Morso and Millville Pizza. For reservations, be sure to contact the restaurant of your choice directly.

When it comes to what Josh is most looking forward to at this three-day food and drink celebration, he says, “Each of the three days offers something very special and unique for our community and visitors to participate in. I’m looking forward to seeing so many people experience our downtown, to be more familiar with our downtown businesses and that special feeling you get as an event planner knowing you had a part in bringing smiles to so many faces.”

Tickets for the Pier to Table Dinner and Waterfront Block Party are available online for purchase at EventBrite.com or bit.ly/wineandfoodexperience. The Wine & Food Experience is a fundraiser to support the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance and the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor.

Josh is overwhelmed by the incredible support there has been to help bring this fabulous weekend experience to life. Sponsors, not previously mentioned, include Entertainment Sponsor Timberland Bank, Transportation Sponsor Olympic Property Group, Volunteer Sponsor Tickled Pink, Cocktail Napkin Sponsor Metropolitan Market, and Wine Store Sponsor Town & Country Market.

As Josh says, “We want people to feel they have had a special time in Gig Harbor’s beautiful downtown and to have an even greater awareness of what a special place it is and all it has to offer.”

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