SoDel Fest Returns to the Beach
When Stacy LaMotta watched hundreds of guests enter the Independence Clubhouse, back in 2014 for the first Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival, it was more than relief she was feeling, it was almost euphoria. The feeling one gets when something they had long dreamed of, comes to life in a way even more amazing than expected.
The feedback has been spectacular, as Cape Gazette wine writer, John McDonald stated in one of his articles… “It is fair to say attendees were astonished by the wide variety of offerings from the many individuals, groups and businesses, who generously donated time, product and effort to make SoDelFest a success.” This is a must attend event.
Now entering its third year, and fondly known as SoDel Fest, the Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival began with LaMotta’s simple wish to see all the things she truly loves about our community honored and celebrated. “For years, I have enjoyed the amazing food, the remarkable wines and the talented musicians here in Sussex County, but it always felt like a little secret, like they just weren’t getting the attention their talents deserved,” stated LaMotta. So she launched Creative Coastal Connections Corp., a non-profit agency committed to offering high-end events that strengthen communities by showcasing area talents and fundraising for area non-profits, to bring her dream of a festival where the wine, food and music she cherishes were showcased in one giant celebration.
And celebrate she has, with each year’s attendance growing larger than the previous year, “This festival has always been about my home,” stated LaMotta, “From the very beginning, my driving force has been to shine the brightest light I possibly can on all the things that make southern Delaware a wonderful place to live and to visit.”
Never short on creativity, LaMotta’s plans for 2017 reinforces her statement, because a quick visit to sodelfest.com, tells us that one does not simply buy tickets to SoDel Fest 2017, one purchases access to experiences. There are three different experiences offered through the festival this year: The Private Reserve VIP Experience, The Festival Experience, and The Learning Experience.
The Private Reserve VIP Experience is an exclusive, two-day red carpet treatment pass that entitles guests to a five course wine dinner at the Clubhouse at Baywood guided by a Master Sommelier on Friday, October 6, as well as access to the main event, festival experience and a VIP lounge on Saturday, October 7, during the main festival. Tickets are $249 per person and are limited to 75 guests on a first come basis.
The Festival Experience is the main event of the year. Featuring menu items from 18 restaurants, opportunities to sip and savor wines, spirits and craft beers, talented live musicians performing throughout the day on the band stage, a silent auction and wine wall, as well as the back by popular demand chef throw down competition! Festival Experience tickets are $75 per person. Forty guests also have the option of adding The Learning Experience, which grants them one hour early entry to the festival as well as a master sommelier led fun and thought-provoking wine tasting that will challenge your tasting prowess, hone your palate and expand your horizons as you examine the differences between delicious Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wines.
“I am so proud of this event, how it has grown in size and in reputation as the hippest wine festival on Delmarva,” stated LaMotta, “but, I am most proud of the impact it’s had in our community.” Not only has SoDel FEST brought a great deal of positive attention to the talents and offerings of southern Delaware’s social scene, it also proudly boasts having raised over $43,000 in the past two years to support Sussex County non-profits. This year will be no exception with proceeds from the event going to Children and Families First, the Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation, and the Delaware Restaurant Association’s ProStart program. Go to sodelfest.com to purchase tickets!