It was 64 degrees and sunny by noon Saturday in downtown Oswego as area residents poured into Hudson Crossing Park for the village’s annual Wine on the Fox festival.
The event, held Mother’s Day weekend May 7 and May 8, featured over 100 wines from across Illinois, live entertainment, food vendors and trucks, and local craft beer.
Village officials said 3,646 tickets were sold for the event and estimated nearly a thousand more additional guests attended, bringing the estimated total attendance to 4,564.
Julie Hoffman, community engagement coordinator and event organizer for the village, said turnout was on the higher side compared to previous years.
“It was perfect all the way around,” said Hoffman. “Happy guests, beautiful weather, amazing volunteers, incredible sponsor support, and entertainers who worked very hard to please -- couldn’t have asked for more.”
A food court with local vendors and food trucks included Freddy’s Off the Chain, Angelo’s International Concessions, The Popcorn Store, and more.
“We were shown incredible support,” said Mona Herrada, owner of Freddy’s Off the Chain, a local Mexican food truck. “The line never quit, we never got to sit down.”
The event partnered with Fancy Nancy Boards, who offered charcuterie boards available for pre-order to enjoy with your wine at the event. They also offered charcuterie cups available for purchase.
“It has been amazing,” said Nancy Castro, owner of Fancy Nancy Boards.
Saturday was Fancy Nancy Boards’ debut event, and Castro said she was nervous about the size of the event, but Hoffman took her under her wing and helped her debut be a success.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to handle this much business,” said Castro, “But I stepped out of my comfort zone, and my team came together and made it work. Who knows where we’ll go from here?”
Village President Troy Parlier said the festival was by far the biggest one ever.
He also said the number of kids in attendance was fantastic.
“The playground was packed full all day,” he said.
Parlier said a real positive he noticed while at the information booth was the number of people in attendance who were from outside of the village.
Parlier said he was very pleased with the amount of support local vendors received at the event and was glad they were able to be successful.
He said he was confident that the vendors that chose not to come this year would be there next year.
While the event was free, wine ticket packages were available for purchase, starting at $20 if bought in advance or $25 at the door.
Ticket packages granted access to all 100+ wines, available at in 1 oz and 5 oz servings, with prices --number of tickets per glass-- varying by wine.
Oswego Brewing was also in attendance serving local craft beers for guests uninterested in wine.
Two stages were set up in the park for live music throughout the event, with local and popular bands and Oswego’s Got Talent winners.
The village has hosted the event annually since 2005 except in 2020 when it was cancelled due to COVID-19.