New Fest Keeps It Local
By Wine Press Staff
With Oregon’s unemployment rate at 12.1 percent (March 2009)—second only to Michigan—it only makes sense to buy local. Oregon needs every financial boost it can get. When you buy local, money stays in Oregon’s communities, giving the state its own homegrown stimulus.
On June 27, you’ll get a chance to do your part at the inaugural Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival. The event’s slogan, “Keep It Local,” conveys the founders’ fiscal focus.
“Best of Oregon is an event founded by locals with the mission to help revitalize and promote the local economy,” said Claudia Bowers, Pravia Wine & Events owner.
“My business partner and I were both affected by this economy. We both saw a niche in our industry that hadn’t yet been filled, and so we both started our own businesses to support our local growers and proprietors in the food and wine industry,” Bowers added.
“We’ve seen many of our peers struggle in this economy as well. Portland is a small business town, and we want to do our part to help keep these businesses thriving. We wanted to do something to encourage Oregonians to think locally when eating out and enjoying wine,” Bowers explained. “We want to encourage Oregonians to keep our money in Oregon.”
The festival expects 3,500 patrons to attend. A $25 ticket price has been established to encourage patrons to support the local vendors inside the event.
“While attending the festival, patrons can purchase bottles of wine and other great local products from participating culinary artisans,” Bowers mentioned. “We hope they will continue to go out to these businesses and support them.”
In addition to supporting the local economy, Best of Oregon has partnered with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital to help raise funds for its worthy organization.
“My business partner and I have children in our lives who are currently receiving treatment from Doernbecher,” said Bowers. “The level of compassion, care and resources that Doernbecher provides allows these children to be regular kids.
“We want to help educate the public on the wonderful programs and services Doernbecher offers, like a school for those who cannot attend their regular schools while receiving treatment, and a farmers market at OHSU.”
“When we sat down with our contact at Doernbecher, she shared with us their belief that proper nutrition is key to a child’s health, and that they are strong advocates for good nutrition,” Bowers added. “We have the best organically grown produce and food resources right here in our backyard. We think a local food and wine festival is a great place to spread the word on good health and nutrition, and on what can be accomplished for children receiving treatment at Doernbecher.”
Doernbecher will have a booth at the event where patrons can learn more about their programs and services, and how to go about making a contribution. Tickets will be available for purchase at the booth for door prizes generously donated by local businesses.
Please visit the Oregon Convention Center to order your tickets at www.oregoncc.org. Be sure to listen to 105.1 The Buzz with Sheryl Stewart, Monday through Friday, June 15–20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for your chance to win free tickets to the festival.
For more information about the Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival, please visit www.bestoforegonfoodandwine.com . Major sponsors include Portland-area businesses Kuni BMW and Phoenix Media. ◊
Best of Oregon Food & Wine Festival