wine fest

The Willcox Wine Country Festival, seen here in 2019, returns this weekend with a modified look and COVID-19 precautions, but still plans to offer lots of fun.

Three event highlights

1 Festival in the park: Free entry into the railroad park gets you access to “craft, artisan, and speciality vendors. (No wineries),” according to willcoxwinecountry.org. Additionally two food trucks will be on site selling food.

2 Passport: A $30 passport gets you ten $1 gift certificates that can be used at participating wineries, a pass to enter Willcox Wine Country and participation in the poker run for a chance to win prizes. Additionally, “passport holders will get special invitations, discounts and other surprises.”

3 Poker run: One designated driver (DD) per two ticket holders can participate in the poker run. To participate the designated driver must sign up for the event at the Willcox Wine Country Information booth at the corner of Maley and Railroad avenue, according to willcoxwinecountry.com. “At that time, you will be registered and the rules will be explained. There will be an overview of the poker run given every half hour at the information booth.”

There will be four destinations where participants can get cards. The best five-card hand will win the top prize, with additional prizes for second through tenth place. Participants choose their own path.

Destination 1: Festival in the Park — Two vendors will be giving out cards.

Destination 2: Wineries in Downtown Willcox – Carlson Creek, Golden Rule and Keeling Schaefer

Destination 3: Coronado Vineyards + 1 guests wineries (TBA)

Destination 4: Kansas Settlement Area – Birds and Barrels & Pillsbuy

They said it

“I think the poker run will be exciting to get folks out to the wine tasting rooms, especially those in outlying Willcox,” said Mike Pigford, event organizer for the Willcox Wine Country Fall Passport/Poker Run Promotion.

COVID-19-related protocol

The following rules have been put in place to protect the health and safety of everyone attending or participating in the event.

Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous two weeks, please stay home. Everyone must wear a mask! Mask may be removed to sample wine and eat. Please wear your mask when going from vendor to vendor.

Social distancing markers must be adhered to. Booths will be spaced apart and given extra travel paths between vendors. No groups over 10 people. Avoid congregating in the park or at wineries.

There will be a basic health screen at the entry and at the wineries, all vendors and customers must pass the screen to enter festival grounds.

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