Hagerstown is the largest city in Western Maryland, and its rich history and diverse entertainment options have made it one of the top destinations in the state. The city is home to a variety of historical sites, landmarks, and buildings, including the Antietam National Battlefield, the site of one of the Civil War’s most famous battles. Visitors will also find that the city is a hub for artists and entertainers, and it’s Arts & Entertainment District features a spectrum of exhibitions and performances.
The Interstate Wine Festival is the ultimate showcase of Maryland wines, and will take place June 17 at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. The event is one-of-a-kind, including 15 wineries that are only from Maryland. Visitors can sample more than 90 different wines and taste spirits from five different Maryland distilleries. The fest is also a great place to shop, featuring dozens of vendors selling everything from art to artisan snacks. Patrons can hear live music by local performers on two stages, and they can purchase a variety of food items from eight hand selected vendors. A portion of the event's proceeds goes to Girls Inc., which is a girls advocacy group that inspires women to be strong, smart, and bold. We got the opportunity to Rob Immer, President of the Interstate Festival Group, to learn more about this celebration of Maryland wines.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
RI: This will be the 4th year of the Interstate Wine Fest.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
RI: The event averages around 2,500 attendees each year.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
RI: It’s a 21+ event with no exceptions. The crowd is made up primarily of couples, singles, and groups of friends.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
RI: This is the only wine festival in Western Maryland that features wineries only from Maryland (over 15 total).
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
RI: There are two stages with live music performed by local groups, express wine glass painting, more than 60 vendors, and great snacks from local vendors. Plus, there are games like cornhole, giant Jenga, and more.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
RI: The event features 10 local restaurants that serve a variety of meal options.
RAL: What is the environment like?
RI: The Washington County Agricultural Center provides a lush mountain setting. It’s a modern event venue and the ideal setting for this event.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
RI: There are several Bed & Breakfast’s in the area including Inn Boonsboro, which is owned by renowned author Nora Roberts. Sleep Inn is another good local option. It’s new and conveniently located a couple of miles away from the event.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
RI: Yes, the Baymont Inn & Suites has a special rate of $79 a night. Make sure to mention the Interstate Wine Fest to get the deal.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
RI: Yes, visitors spend money at businesses all over town, and the participating vendors receive exposure and a nice boost in sales.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
RI: Absolutely, the event donates more than $5,000 annually to Girls Inc. of Washington County.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
RI: This is the only event where all the wineries in attendance are from the state of Maryland. It provides the perfect chance to see the mountains of Western Maryland and some of the most important Civil War sites.
For more information about the Interstate Wine Fest, please visit the event website.