More than 1,000 people are expected to pack downtown for the first Wine Walk of the summer.
The Parker Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event enables wine-lovers to bounce from business to business in downtown Parker to get a taste of varietals from around the world. The first Wine Walk of the season begins at 5 p.m. May 31 at the corner of Mainstreet and Pikes Peak Drive, where the chamber will have a registration tent. Another six Wine Walks are planned through October.
Organizers learned a few valuable lessons on preparedness last summer and this year will be ready for the deluge of people. There was so much interest last year that the first Wine Walk sold out. Chamber president Dan Rodriguez expects more than 1,000 people to attend each walk.
Thirty-five merchants — twice as many as last year — are participating, with nearly 30 giving out one-ounce wine samples to those with a wristband. The others will be doling out non-alcoholic beverages and snacks.
The chamber added live entertainment to the menu, as well as a game in which participants get their hand stamped at each station to possibly win a prize during a later drawing.
“We’re stepping it up quite a bit this year,” Rodriguez said.
Chamber officials estimated an overall economic impact of $250,000 from the 2012 Wine Walk series, and the businesses involved have reported that the event led to increased exposure.
Each month, charity organizations will be chosen to help run the registration tent or serve as hospitality staff, with a portion of the proceeds going to the causes. The first beneficiary will be the Parker Arts Council.
The Wine Walk costs $15 per person and a valid ID is required. Attendees can purchase advance tickets and find more information at www.parkerchamber.com/wine.
Wine Walk dates
May 31, June 28, July 26, Aug. 12, Aug. 30, Sept. 27, Oct. 25