BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — When you think of wine, you probably don’ think of Highlandtown, but over the last decade, that has changed.

The east Baltimore neighborhood is preparing for the Highlandtown Wine Festival on Sunday that’s become one of the biggest parties of the spring in Baltimore.

“Well the first year was mostly family and close friends,” Festival Co-Founder Joe Dipasquale said. “We have a new crowd. Young people who didn’t have any idea about the winemaking process, but now they’re being introduced to that. It’s exciting.”

Sunday will be the 16th year of the festival, and roughly 1,000 people are expected to attend the event.

Homemade wines are the star of the show, but the festival also raises money for the neighborhood.

“It raises money for the neighborhood which is very important,” wine festival committee member David Marcozzi said.

The event also features local artists and musicians from Highlandtown.

“It really brings together all of the artists, musicians and small business owners that live here,” Beth Wilson, of Night Owl Gallery in Highlandtown, said.

Co-founder Dominic Petrucci said that this year’s festival comes at just the right time.

“We know what Baltimore goes through,” Petrucci said. “Once in a while, we’ve got to be positive that something beautiful is going to happen. Forget the little problems.”

Petrucci said he is ready to bring the community together at the wine festival.

“Let’s enjoy Sunday,” Petrucci said. “It means a lot to the community. Get the people back together.”

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