Several new wineries, breweries featured at Lazy River Beer and Wine Festival June 25

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Sample the eclectic mix of wines and beers from over a dozen regional wineries and breweries at the seventh annual Lazy River Beer and Wine Festival, held Saturday, June 25, from noon to 4 p.m., on the Marquette riverfront. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Sample the eclectic mix of wines and beers from over a dozen regional wineries and breweries at the seventh annual Lazy River Beer and Wine Festival, held Saturday, June 25, from noon to 4 p.m., on the Marquette riverfront.

Seven wineries will be featured at this year’s event, including Marquette’s own Eagles Landing Winery, Dubuque Heritage Winery, PromiseLand Winery from Guttenberg, Winneshiek Wildberry Winery from Decorah, Empty Nest Winery from Waukon, Jennings Winery from Strawberry Point and Country Barn Winery from Primghar, in northwest Iowa.

Three of the wineries—Winneshiek, Jennings and Country Barn—are new to this year’s festival.

The six breweries offering samples include Millstream Brewing Company from Amana, Potosi Brewing Company, Kalona Brewing Company, Another Road Brewing Company from Marion, Pulpit Rock Brewing Company from Decorah and Franklin Street Brewing Company from Manchester.

Six is the highest number of breweries to ever participate in the festival. For Pulpit Rock and Franklin Street, this will be their first year.

“I’ve always wanted to have at least six of each, so I’m excited,” said McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carolyn Gallagher. “Wineries and breweries are just popping up everywhere. I would love to see the event grow and grow.”

Three local restaurants—McGregor Beer and Bratz Garden, Spring Lake Inn and Maggie’s Diner—will also offer some tasty eats at the Lazy River Beer and Wine Festival. 

As attendees partake in the festivities, they can listen to the musical stylings of the Bruce Bearinger Band, back for a second year by popular demand.

The riverfront shelter, as well as other tents, will offer cover from the sun, or rain, as people enjoy their drinks and food. Attendees can also bring their own lawn chairs and set up along the river bank.

“Bring your lawn chairs and friends,” Gallagher said. “It’s a good time on the river.”

Gallagher noted that people come from all over—including Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and the farther reaches of Iowa—for the event. She said she would like to see more locals enjoy the festival, too.

“They would enjoy it,” she commented. “Have a staycation.”

Tickets for the Lazy River Beer and Wine Festival can still be purchased in advance at lazyriverfest.com until noon on Friday, June 24; they will be held at the will-call window. You may also purchase tickets (cash or check only) at the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce (146 Main St., McGregor) or Eagles Landing Winery (127 North St., Marquette). In addition, tickets will be available at the gate the day of the event. Each ticket includes a souvenir sampling glass, signature event wine bag, 10 samples of choice and a food voucher.

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