Contributed                                Winfest is being held at ValleyFair Mall, again.

Contributed Winfest is being held at ValleyFair Mall, again.

Rotary hosts 19th annual Winefest

There is ample space for wine sampling in ValleyFair Mall, but local Rotarians aim to sell it out.

The 19th annual Rotary Wine Festival is coming up on April 22, and wineries and restaurants will take over the mall for the event from 7-9:30 p.m.

Deddy Geese, the organizer, said this year there will be 22 wineries represented, up from 16 last year, and as many as 12 local restaurants with samples of their offerings.

“We have excellent wines, great local restaurants and great entertainment,” said Geese. “It’s a great evening out.”

For $45, those supporting the fundraiser get a wine glass and a plate, and can sample to their heart’s content. There will also be a silent auction.

The proceeds from the event go to youth, cultural and other Rotary charity causes in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Local artist Lisa Lake is organizing the senior grades from Hammond elementary to paint banners, the theme of which is past charitable purchases by Rotary. An example might be the Starfish backpack program, which sends food home with students, for families in need.

The banners will decorate the mall.

There will also be entertainment at both ends of the mall, including Bruce Coughlan of the folk/celtic band Tiller’s Folly.

At the other end will be local musicans Caden Knudson and Anita Jacobsen.

Last year, the event drew 260 people, but Geese is hopeful that in its second year at the new venue it will sell out at 400.

• Tickets are available at Hagen’s Travel or through the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association office.