Washington is on the map as a destination for wine lovers. Craft beers and local breweries have also claimed fame for Washington State. Add in an enviable reputation for our area’s fresh and innovative food creations and you have a mecca for foodies.
The original idea of the Capital Food and Wine Festival was to create a community building function in a block party setting that would benefit the students and programs at Saint Martin’s University. Now twenty-six years later the event is a much bigger affair. And this type of successful event, where people come from all over to enjoy food, wine, and beer while supporting the students of Saint Martin’s University, is a tremendous effort produced by the entirely volunteer group of the Saint Martin’s University Alumni Association. Dozens of volunteers from the Alumni Association, Saint Martin’s University student body and staff and the broader community including businesses and individuals that support the University, effectively organize and present the Capital Food and Wine Festival to accomplish the mission of raising funds for student scholarships and programs at Saint Martin’s University.
Evan Martin the Festival Executive Director and Saint Martin’s University Alumni Association Treasurer shares, “The wine tasting and food sampling are the experiences of the event but the purpose is giving back to the community and supporting students. We host a fun event for patrons to both enjoy the festival and support the students. By purchasing a ticket to the event, people make a direct donation toward student scholarships. 100% of the proceeds benefit student scholarships.”
“As a 1968 alumnus, it is incumbent upon me to pay forward the many gifts and good fortune I received in my education from the college and monastery,” explains Tom Barte, President of the Saint Martin’s University Alumni Association. “I am not alone in that commitment, as many alums from years before, and after my graduation have the same mission. The Benedictine education and values we received hold true today. This is evidenced by the countless students, Alumni Scholarship recipients among them, who work side by side with alumni to understand how their scholarships are derived from the many alumni that have fostered them.”
The festival will feature over 40 Washington wineries pouring more than 140 varieties of wine, over 20 breweries and a variety of local restaurants. Premium wines will also be available for purchase by the unopened bottle or the case in RJ’s Premium Wine Cellar. A full listing of wines, beer, food and music can be viewed on the Capital Food and Wine Festival website.
New this year will be the O’Blarney’s Sports Bar in the big tent adjoining the Marcus Pavilion. This setting will feature music, televisions showing March Madness basketball games, nine taps and food all set in a pub-like environment.
Live music is scheduled throughout the entire venue, including the main stage in the Marcus Pavilion and Worthington Conference Center. Previous festival patrons and vendors have requested quieter music and this year’s entertainment lineup will feature more acoustic-style background music and piano arrangements. Find the list of performers and schedules on the festival’s website.
All proceeds go to support the Saint Martin’s University student scholarships and programs. Tickets are $10 in advance can be purchased in advance at O’Blarney’s Irish Pub, TwinStar Credit Union branches, Ralph’s and Bayview Thriftway, Northwest Harley-Davidson, Saint Martin’s Marcus Pavilion, and online at capitalfoodandwinefestival.com or EventBrite.com. Tickets will also be sold at the door for $15.
Entry ticket includes admission for one plus a choice of one wine or beer glass. Scrip – to use for purchasing wine tasting, beer and food sampling plus full bottles of unopened wine for sale – is available only at the festival and sold in 50-cent increments.
The event will be held on Saturday, March 28 from 12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Saint Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion and Worthington Conference Center at 5300 Pacific Avenue in Lacey. There will be very limited parking available at Saint Martin’s University. Festival patrons are highly encouraged to take advantage of riding the regularly scheduled shuttle buses between the event site and the western lot near Chicago Title Insurance Company at South Sound Center.