CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – When you think of fall festivals, hay rides and pumpkin patches may come to mind, but the Clear Lake Harvest Fest is taking a different approach to celebrating the season.
The ninth annual event kicked off this morning and an Iowa winery sampling tour was one of the main attractions.
Event organizers tell us that highlighting the wineries is important right now because of how far the Iowa wine industry has come over the last couple of years.
“Iowa wineries have really expanded in the past years,” said Harvest Fest Chairman, Al Ashland.
He said that there were 13 wineries set up at their event on Saturday and their goal was to highlight wineries unlike your typical Ocktober Fest that revolves around beer.
“We thought we’d do something different,” Ashland said. “Iowa has become a bit more well known for their wines and wines have really improved over the years and they’re kind of getting away from a lot of the fruit wines and we’re getting into more of the grape wines.”
However, the day wasn’t just about wine.
Several bands played throughout the day, dozens of vendors had booths set up with fall decor and autumn treats, and trolley rides were offered giving visitors a tour of the Clear Lake, there was something for the whole family.