If you’re ready to spice up your winter season, look no further because the 13th Annual Long Island Winterfest (LIW) is about to offer five weeks of incredible live performances, art installations, local wine and craft beer tastings, culinary experiences, and more.
Winterfest, which will be celebrated on both the North Fork and South Fork, will launch with a Kick Off Party on Friday, February 7 at Hotel Indigo Long Island – East End (1830 West Main Street, Riverhead). The gathering will feature live music and dancing, a Chinese Auction, 50/50 raffle, and photo booth, as well as over 25 vendors highlighting local eats and sips. Representatives from Bidawee Pet Adoption, Bistro 72/ Hotel Indigo, Cause Cafe, Crook & Marker, Discover the Hamptons, East End Food representing the Riverhead Farmer’s Market, Eastern Long Island Entertainment, Fermented Farm Goods, Fishers Island Lemonade, Hampton Trading Company, Harvest Moon Oysters, Heron Suites, Jamesport Farm Brewery, Jen’s Sweet Scents, Long Ireland Beer Company, Long Island Spirits, Loretta Fay Bags, Mattitaco, Moustache Brewing Co., Murphs Bloody Mary, Nuna Knits, Pecks of Maine, Peconic Ballet Theatre, Peconic Cellars, Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue, Sunflower Bakery, Talk Treats to Me, Tend Coffee, Touchstone Crystal with Swarovski, Twin Forks Brewery, and more will be onsite. For those who really want to make an evening out of it, or have a prior commitment, the fun will continue with an after-party. The Kick Off will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. and tickets (includes entry to the after-party) are $55 in advance and $65 at the door. Admission to just the after-party (9 to 11 p.m.) is $20.
While the event was launched as Jazz on the Vine, with a focus on jazz, obviously, the festival has evolved to encompass a myriad of music genres, and also a celebration of local arts and theater, food and beverage, hospitality, farms and nonprofits. “Shoulder season tourism will always be a critical need for the entire South Fork,” Glenn O. Vickers II, President & CEO of Discover The Hamptons, relayed. “Strategically collaborating with the 13th Annual Long Island Winterfest (which originated on the North Fork) has allowed us to pool our strengths to build upon the $3m+ economic impact of Long Island Winterfest from 2019. Both locals and visitors of the region are in store for some amazing experiences based around the taste, sounds and sights of the Hamptons this winter.”
This year’s festivities will bring attendees to 30 East End venues for 100 events. Those interesting in making the most of the festival and partaking in a staycation, ten local lodging establishments are offering Winterfest options.
“From a commerce perspective, Winterfest has become an important economic driver to the East End during a season that is slower for most businesses,” Diane Tucci, Winterfest Lead Coordinator, explained. “A measurable and growing impact has been made over the past 12 years with the generous support from our sponsors, allowing Winterfest to market and expand the East End economy through programming and outreach.”
Experiences will range from trivia nights to show stopping sets to craft cocktail demonstrations to line dancing to wine pairings to paint night to Art Barre and much more.
“There are so many gems to experience in the Hamptons this time of year,” Vickers noted. “Westhampton Village, Southampton Village and East Hampton Village, to name a few, are wonderful communities to experience and their local businesses provide world class shopping, dining and beautiful natural resources to match.”
There will also be special Winterfest tours hosted at vineyards, breweries and restaurants.
Winterfest regulars will be thrilled to learn that 2020 will feature the launch of the LIW VIP Passport program. Passport holders will be privy to discounts, giveaways and VIP treatment, of course, at LIW venues, as well as a complimentary ticket to the Kick Off After Party. The VIP Passport is $39.95, and the first 150 that join the VIP club will be inducted into the LIWF VIP Founders Club, which also earns them a $20 restaurant gift card and LIWF goody box, made in partnership with The North Fork Box.
For more information, visit longislandwinterfest.com.