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Wine Walk Returns to San Mateo This Saturday

After many locals were disappointed when the event was canceled last year, it's back this Saturday, Sept. 29.

If you were one of the many who lamented the cancelling of the San Mateo Wine Walk last year, we have good news for you - it's back, this Saturday, Sept. 29.

An annual Wine Walk is a long-beloved event that welcomes wine lovers from around the peninsula, and is hosted by the Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA).

Though the event had to take a hiatus last year, organizers say it is back and better than ever for 2012, with a few changes.

For example, this year, instead of asking downtown businesses to transform part of their space into tasting rooms, the DSMA has decided, instead, to set up several outdoor "wine gardens" throughout the downtown Wine Walk area.

"Each winery will have a table within a wine garden," explains Jessica Evans, one of the event's main organizers.

The DSMA expects at least 50 different wines from all around the world to be available for tasting at this year's event.

Also new this year is the addition of food, catered by local San Mateo restaurants.

"We will be hiring some local restaurants to provide light bites for participants to sample as they wander the wine gardens and explore the neighborhood," Evans described.

And, of course, the event will include live music and other fun activities, including a VIP Lounge for those that buy special tickets, Japanese sake ceremonies, and even a Kids Zone.

Evans says the Wine Walk is a wonderful way to support local San Mateo businesses and take pride in San Mateo's downtown area. To bring the event back this year, better than ever, the staff of the DSMA recently visited the city of Los Gatos down in the south bay to get tips on how to make San Mateo's event even better, since Los Gatos has long held a successful annual wine walk.

"Our goal is to carry on the local tradition and host an event which showcases our one-of-a-kind downtown in a fun, celebratory way," Evans said.

She added that proceeds from the Wine Walk will benefit other community events throughout the year.

"The DSMA uses the proceeds from the Wine Walk to sponsor our free, family-friendly community events like the Halloween Fun Fest and the Tree Lighting Ceremony," she said.

THE DETAILS:

When: This Saturday, Sept. 29, 2-6 p.m.

Where: Downtown San Mateo. Ticketholders must enter the event from the entrance at the intersection of 1st and Ellsworth avenues.

Cost: In advance, tickets can be purchased for $35 through the DSMA's Eventbrite page. On the day of the event, tickets can be purchased at the entrance for $45, but be advised that tickets may sell out. A ticket gets the ticketholder both wine and food tastings. Tickets to the VIP Lounge are $65, and include both tasting and VIP privileges.

Volunteer: The Wine Walk is looking for volunteers to help out and work the event. If you are interested, contact Jessica Evans at jessica@dsma.org.

For more information: Visit www.WineWalk.org.

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