BY STACI WILSON
Heavy morning rains dampened attendance at the annual Montrose Chocolate & Wine Festival on Saturday, but an estimated 2,000 people showed for the day full of wine, music and community spirit.
The annual festival benefits a number of community organizations. Tom Follert, a festival organizer, said he expects about $27,000 to be donated this year. “It’s a shining example of how we can take something fun (the Festival) and turn it into something great for our community.”
This year, Chocolate & Wine proceeds will help launch the new Summer Lunchbox Program being offered by the Montrose Mobile Pantry. “Being able to help start the MMP’s Lunchbox Program for underprivileged kids is an honor,” Follert said.
Funds raised at the annual event have benefited the library’s building fund, Endless Mountains Health Systems, and Susquehanna County Interfaith.
Follert said that in addition to the wine and chocolate, festival-goers reported through a survey they enjoy the joyous, friendly atmosphere that fills the day.
“The community spirit, just a great day mingling with friends and neighbors,” commented one person.
Another added they were happy to find several local businesses showing their crafts and baked goods. “I came across a few businesses that I had no idea about!”
“The amount of vendors, the great music and just good ole feeling of love,” said another visitor.
Follert said, “We are so grateful for all of the people who help to make this day a success. Our dedicated volunteers and our loyal patrons help make this one of our favorite days of the year in Montrose. It’s always nice to see gee groups of friends coming together for great music, food and wine!”