LOWELL -- Rich wine, craft beer, live music and local eateries are all coming together for three days of fun in downtown Lowell.
If you're looking for a culinary cultural experience that will take your taste buds on a trip, the Lowell Food & Wine Festival has got you covered for the fourth year in a row.
Gabby Davis, the CEO of Made In Lowell, a local nonprofit organization, said the event is all about marshaling people to make connections. Over the years, she said feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
"People are finding their way to different locations because of these events," Davis said. "They're seeing a different side of Lowell. It connects people to the culinary culture of not just Lowell, but the Merrimack Valley.
Made In Lowell's biggest fundraiser of the year has a number of events lined up from Thursday, Sept. 7, through Saturday, Sept. 9. For Davis, the Food & Wine Festival has a special place in her heart.
"This event is fairly important to me for many reasons, on a very individual level," she said. "When I first started with the organization, I was an intern volunteer, and it was the first event I ever planned and helped manage. There are different elements to this event that I really enjoy."
This year, the festival has partnered with Lowell Burger Company for its opening reception Thursday, Sept.
Food Truck Madness is taking place Friday, Sept. 8, from 6 to 10 p.m. Attendees can enjoy grub from food trucks, and a craft-beer garden will have drinks to wash it all down. At Kerouac Park, there will also be live music and local art vendors.
"This is the one event that is really family-friendly," Davis said. "It just brings everyone together at Kerouac Park.
Tickets for the event cost $6.50 in advance and $10 the day of the event.
Taco & Tequila, taking place at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center, is exactly the kind of event you imagine it will be. On Friday, Sept. 8, from 9:30 to 11 p.m., guests will enjoy tantalizing tacos, tasty tequilas and terrific tunes. Tickets are $23 in advance and $30 the day of the event.
The Grand Tasting, happening Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m., will feature 40 different drinks and food from more than 20 Lowell and Merrimack Valley eateries.
"The Grand Tasting is really one of my favorite events, just because of the variety along with the variety of people," Davis said.
Tickets are for the event are also $23 online and $30 the day of the event.
Tutto Bene Wine & Cheese Cellars, located at 58 Prescott St., will host the Sips & Sweets event on Saturday, Sept. 9, from 1 to 5 p.m. Sweets, desserts and pastries will be served along with adult beverages.
There will also be a number of dinners and tastings happening all three days of the festival.
"This year we're excited to partner with another nonprofit, End 68 Hours of Hunger in Lowell," Davis said. "A portion of the ticket proceeds will go directly to the cause. We intend to continue partnering with them."
Davis added that Made in Lowell is always looking for volunteer support. Those interested in lending a hand can go to https://form.jotform.us/72274133700144.
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.
If you miss this one (or if you just want more wine), check out Chelmsford Center for the Arts
CHELMSFORD -- Looking for another way to enjoy a glass of vino while supporting a local nonprofit agency? The Chelmsford Center for the Arts is hosting its first Taste of Art & Vine event Saturday, Sept. 30.
Along with a selection of wines to taste, there will be craft beer and light hors d'oeuvres. The money raised will help keep the arts center up and running.
"There will be art for sale also at the wine-tasting," CCA Executive Director Susan Gates said. "In between the tables, we'll have panels of art that people can purchase -- affordable things."
The featured artists, Trina Teele, Donna Berger and Rita Thompson, all have studios in the arts center. Attendees can expect landscape, marine and abstract art up for sale, with prices ranging from $25 to $600. A portion of the proceeds from art purchases will also benefit the Chelmsford Center for the Arts.
"We're hoping that through this fun event, we'll bring in people that might not have otherwise come into the building or have time to do something here," Gates said. "Having the opportunity to reach people beyond Chelmsford is a major goal for us all."
The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m., and tickets are $25 each. The center is at 1A North Road in Chelmsford Center. For more information, visit www.chelmsfordarts.org.
-- KORI TUITT