Jeff & I spent yesterday in Bristol at the speedway where the first Thunder Valley Wine and Fly Festival was held. A couple of weeks ago we did the VA Wine and Fly Festival in Wayneboro, so it was interesting how the two compared.
The VAfest is 15 years old, held in a city park in tents on grass, well attended by vendors and I am told drew a couple thousand souls. The entry fee was a bit steep in my opinon; $20 per day, but you did get to drink all of the locally made wine you could stand, so if you were looking to get your money's worth, if you left sober, it was your own fault.
The TVfest was held in an area between the speedway track and the drag strip. Entry was $10 for the fly fishing portion of the event, and another $20 if you wanted to hit the wine tent. In terms of faclities, the TVfest is absolutely fantastic. Lay out was good and they had enough speakers to carry the event. Unfortunately, due to the weather and perhaps not doing enough to promote the event, it was poorly attended.
The good news is the event team, which is part of the speedway's charity program, is committed to having the TVfest for at least three years before they decide its fate. They are a pretty ****ed sharp bunch of young people who strike me as willing to learn and go forward. Heaven knows they have a great venue for the event.
Any who, we had a good time. We saw lots of old friends and made a few new ones with the TU chapters in that part of the world. The SoHo and Watuaga rivers were in an exceptionally generous mood. Everyone who went fishing had a glowing story to tell. Several first time fly fishermen caught browns in the 20-inch with Patrick Fulkrod.
We plan to do the TVfest again next year. In two weeks we'll be at Cullohowee. I believe we are supposed to be in Chattanooga next week for something about hustling some books, but Mrs. Kirk has not shared details of that with me as yet (we operate on a need to know only basis).