A TALE OF TWO WINE FESTIVALS: The story behind the ‘divorce'

Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 03:00 PM.

The advisory board brought this item to the table at its regularly scheduled meeting this past Tuesday morning for public comment. The board told those gathered that they were faced with either upholding the results of the scorecards or giving it to neither party. The TDC decided to stick with numbers and align themselves with the new festival.

Sandestin officials were not thrilled to lose the grant, but they appeared content that the money will be used next door.

“You need to give the money to somebody, and if it’s not us, it’s fine,” said Claude Comtois, executive director of The Village of Baytowne Wharf neighborhood association. “The $35,000 is important but if we don’t have it, we are still going to have an event.”


A growing popularity

Twenty-six years ago, Chan Cox partnered with Keith Howard, then with the Sandestin Market Shops, to bring a wine festival to South Walton. In its first 19 years, the festival took place at the Market Shops.

With wine, food, and merriment, it was no wonder the popular event outgrew its original location.

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