Downtown preparing for an evening of wine tasting, shopping

07/18/2014 1:14 PM

07/26/2014 12:23 PM

The public is invited to the heart of Los Banos next month for wine, hors d’oeuvres and some shopping.

The Wine Stroll, in its sixth year, is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 1. It’s designed to get people familiar with shops in downtown.

“For us merchants, it’s a lot of work. But it’s important for the people to have a good time,” said Kathleen Simas, event organizer and owner of Health Time.

Simas said wineries were contacted in January and then the event schedule finalized and food ordered, entertainment booked and decorations prepared.

Twelve businesses will participate in the evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres, dessert and coffee. Each business owner lines up his or her own wine and food offerings. Los Banos Drug Co. cannot offer wine by law because it carries medicine. Many times, people who come to the Wine Stroll make the business one of its last stops during the evening and partake in the pie and coffee it offers in place of alcohol.

Sherry Pearson, owner of Pearson’s Jewelers, said the Wine Stroll is good marketing because it gets people familiar with her shop. She said people have returned at a later date to make a purchase.

Pearson said the event attracts a varying crowd.

“I’ve had people come in our shop who I’ve never seen before,” Pearson said.

Penny Glick, owner of The Country Duck, has changed the location of her Sixth Street business. She said the Wine Stroll will serve as an introduction to her new building for potential customers.

Glick said she has seen three generations attend the Wine Stroll over the years. She said she believes last year’s crowd skewed younger.

“It’s just so nice to have people come on downtown,” Glick said.

The Los Banos Downtown Association is hosting the event. Glick said she and other association members have discussed decorating the downtown so it is festive for the event.

There will also be entertainment. Glick is planning a band and possibly a tarot card reader for her shop.

“I just want them to have a good time,” Glick said of Wine Stroll participants.

Those who attend will receive a commemorative wine glass and, if they visit all the businesses involved, areeligible to win a wine basket with one selection from each participating winery.

No more than 300 tickets will be sold, at $30 each. Tickets are available at participating merchants.

Participants include the Los Banos Chamber of Commerce, The Country Duck, Donna Mendes’ Positive Changes, Fleur de Lis, Health Time, Los Banos Drug Co., Office City, Imperial, Una Bella Salon & Spa, Simply Unique, Foundations Public Schools and Phoenix Books.

The Wine Stroll is for those 21 or older. Proceeds go toward downtown beautification projects.

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