Thousands Expected At Highlandtown Wine Festival

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It started off eight years ago with just a few dozen people.  Now it’s one of Baltimore’s hottest tickets of the spring.

If you like wine, Ron Matz reports it’s time to raise a glass at Sunday’s Highlandtown Wine Festival.

Jon Petrelli grew up in the shadows of Our Lady of Pompeii and the white marble steps. He’s dedicated his new CD and his song “Highlandtown” to friends and family.

“I was baptized at Our Lady of Pompeii. I was an altar boy here. My mom and dad were married here. I grew up just a couple of blocks down the street. I went to Our Lady of Pompeii Elementary School, this is all I know, this is my roots. There will be people at the festival I haven’t seen in 30 years,” said Petrelli. “I moved away from Baltimore to Florida and I was on Facebook and all these stories about growing up here inspired me to write a song about Highlandtown. I dedicated my new CD to Highlandtown and my friends and family.”

The Highlandtown Wine Festival is Sunday and Petrelli will join about a thousand of his friends for all the fun. It will be a chance to taste some great homemade wines.

“Eight years ago we started out with Don Schiavone and a couple of other guys. Everybody makes homemade wine in Highlandtown, so we came up with the idea to bring other people to enjoy some of the homemade wines. Every year it’s growing bigger and bigger. If you’ve never experienced drinking homemade wine made the old-fashioned way this is the place to be. If you love wine, love good people and fun, come Sunday 1 til 6 p.m. and enjoy the crowd and the people,” said Dominic Petrucci, festival co-founder. “We’ll have more stations this year, so people don’t have to wait in line. More stations to taste wine. We also have indoor bocce ball, we have teams coming from as far as Pennsylvania and Delaware to try and compete with Baltimore, but we’re going to beat them.”

Wine is center stage, but this is a family friendly event.

“This is our number one fundraiser for the year. We all come out and have fun. We volunteer to set it all up. It also funds all of our programs for the year,” said Kevin Bernhard, Highlandtown Community Association. “In the past seven years we’ve raised about $20,000 for the community. We’re expecting about a thousand people on Sunday. It’s a family friendly event. We’ll have face painting, a balloon sculptor, live music, fun, food and all kinds of great stuff.”

The festival benefits the Highlandtown Community Association. The Highlandtown Wine Festival is held at Conkling and Claremont Streets. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information, click here.

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