Plans continue to move forward for this year’s edition of the annual Cheese and Wine Exposition held in downtown Riverbank in October.
At its Tuesday, March 12 meeting the council authorized City Manager Sean Scully to enter into a lease agreement with Chris Ricci Presents for the temporary lease of downtown property for the Oct. 12-13 festival.
In February, the city contracted with CRP for event coordination for the 43rd annual C&W Expo this year.
According to officials, the City has “organized the Festival for a number of years and has previously worked with Chris Ricci Presents to coordinate and manage the Festival,” for the past five years.
They report that the “Festival continues to grow in size and popularity. The increased interest requires that Chris Ricci Presents and the City have more flexibility in managing the area and streets where the Festival will be held.”
They say that the lease agreement does not charge rent to Chris Ricci Presents for the two-day lease but instead provides the City and Chris Ricci Presents with safeguards in the form of insurance requirements and other provisions for providing an event that serves the residents of the City and the greater community at large who may wish to attend the Festival.
It is expected that this move will ensure that the Expo continues to be a successful and enjoyable activity that brings City residents and visitors from near and far to the annual fall expo.
In Ricci’s conversation with the council, he noted several successful additions to the event last October.
He said the “Sip ‘n Paint was a big hit, with two sessions selling out last year.” He said the introduction of wines from France, in a cafe-style setting was also successful.
He also reported on the new ideas he has for adding to the 2019 event.
He’s planning on moving the wine tasting outside onto the street, to six stations scattered throughout the festival area downtown. He’ll be offering a special local vendors pricing plan for both individuals and businesses wishing to sell in the festival.
For the kids, Ricci plans on adding a Cub Scout-style Pinewood Derby, human foosball and a giant corn hole game to the entertainment activities.