Details of El Dorado Southern Food & Wine Festival

Zoie Clift
The Union Square District of El Dorado
provides the backdrop for the first ever Southern Food & Wine Festival Oct.
28-29. The event highlights Southern culture and provides a chance to enjoy
some of the South’s finest food and wine.

The agenda also includes art walks and live
music by artists such as Grammy award winning performer Trombone Shorty.

El Dorado is
aiming to have festivals and special events in the city every other week
year-round as part of a goal to become the festival capital of the South and
highlight a new theme of “It’s Showtime.”

The festivities
begin on Friday evening with a dinner hosted by Presqu’ile Winery at the
new El Dorado Conference Center. Presqu’ile Winery is a Santa Maria Valley,
California winery with Arkansas roots, owned by the Murphy family. During
Friday evening’s wine dinner guests have the chance to sample four varieties of
Presqui’le’s wine paired with a menu. The New Birth Brass Band, winners of the
Big Easy Award for Best Brass Band, provides music for the evening.

“This first event seemed a natural fit given
harvest time, fall beauty, and a family owned Santa Maria Valley winery from El
Dorado, Presqu’ile Winery,” said Austin Barrow, President of El Dorado
Festivals & Events, Inc. “The focus will not only be on the wonderful
food and variety of wines available, but the beautiful topography of our city
and some of our finest visual artists. This is the first of many festivals to

On Saturday the
festival opens on Union Square with a self-guided art walk at noon. The Granite
Club opens to food and wine tasting at 2 and the festival ends with live music
by 2011 Grammy nominee Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, well known for their
legendary performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. 

As to tips for those planning to attend the
festival, Barrow said to plan early. “We’ve listed some preferred hotels on our
website for patrons to book rooms,” he said.  “And we’ll have
trolleys rolling through our streets from location to location. All of our
locations are intimate and a limited amount of tickets are being sold.”
Festival maps will also be updated regularly on their website as additional
locations are added.  

Tickets for the
event can be purchased online and range from individual one day passes, two day
passes, two day limited access passes, concert tickets or wine dinner only

Event directors hope the festival becomes an
annual event in the city. Numerous other festivals are also in development for
the 2012 season including the birth of a professional theatre, The Southern
Theatre Festival.

“This is a step towards our future,” said
Barrow about the impact of the festivals on the city. “The people of El Dorado
have always prided themselves on the beauty of our little community and we have
come together and decided we should start letting others know what the good
life looks like.”

For more details visit the festival website
or the El Dorado Festivals & Events website at or call 870-863-6113.

Festival sponsors include Harriet and Warren
Stephens, Stephens Inc. and Murphy USA.


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