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October 12, 2010

In Good Taste: Hops, Shops and Chardonnay tasting event set for Friday

In addition to helping local merchants, this year’s event also seeks to assist in the fight against breast cancer

JEFFERSONVILLE — Though it’s only Tuesday, local merchants are hopeful you’re already looking forward to Friday’s Hops, Shops and Chardonnay.

The beer and wine tasting event, being put together by Jeffersonville Main Street Inc., will be 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at several Spring Street shops. The goal is to bring new people into downtown to check out independent businesses. And, there’s also plenty of samples of locally crafted beverages to be had.

Here’s how it works:

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 for the day of the event. Those participating will need to visit the registration area at Warder Park, near the corner of Spring Street and Court Avenue, to have their ticket redeemed and identification checked.

At the registration area, everyone will receive a “passport” with a list of participating businesses. There will be five tasting tents — each offering a variety of wines and brews — on Spring Street between the park and Market Street. The first 500 to get their passport stamped by all businesses can bring it back to the registration table and receive a 16-ounce commemorative glass with the event logo on it.

The event has been popular in the past, last year attracting hundreds of visitors to downtown businesses, said Jay Ellis, Jeffersonville Main Street executive director.

More than 10 brews and 30 wines will be featured at this year’s tasting. Hors d’oeuvres will be available in participating shops. There also will be five live bands spaced out along the sidewalk — playing classic rock, folk, bluegrass and more.

The formula of offering incentives — be it chocolate, discounts or, in this case, drinks — in order to bring people into shops has been offered in many iterations in downtown during the last several years.

“[The events] do very well,” said Ellis, noting that merchants are happy with the results.

 “We’re bringing 400 or 500 people right downtown in front of their shops,” he said.

In addition to helping local merchants, this year’s event also seeks to assist in the fight against breast cancer.

Participating businesses will have an item available for auction. Money made from auction items will be presented as a donation to the Especially for Women Boutique at Clark Memorial Hospital. The boutique specializes in helping women who have been affected by breast cancer, offering breast prostheses and bras for those who have had a mastectomy, lumpectomy or reconstructive surgery. They also offer post-cancer treatment accessories such as wigs, turbans, surgical camisoles, mastectomy and lumpectomy bras and skin care products.

The staffs at some businesses are getting temporary tattoos of the pink ribbon that symbolizes breast cancer awareness. The airbrushed tattoo wears off in about one week and is being offered to anyone by The Springs Salon & Spa. Pink attire also is encouraged.

“This event should appeal to a wide range of people,” said Ellis. “For people over 21, we’ve got excellent wine and brew tastings; for people of all ages we offer great shopping, food, live music and a lovely stroll in a vibrant downtown district.”

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