Thu, April 02

Wine/Pecan Festival caters to all

Over 30 antique dealers, five wineries and 250 pecan pies will be the star attractions at this year's Camp Verde Pecan, Wine & Antique Festival.

For the seventh year in a row, the town will be celebrating a whole lot of old stuff and a bit of the new.

The age of the antiques speaks for themselves. Some are local and some will come from afar.

The other two stars, one old and one new, are homegrown.

Over 100 years ago, the settlers of Camp Verde planted the first pecan trees. Those early plantings now account for an annual harvest measured by the ton.

The tree lined portion of Montezuma Castle Highway still bears witness to the sweet nut's deep roots in Camp Verde.

In the last 10 years, some new pioneers have come to the Verde to sink roots of their own -- these in the form of grapevines.

Put them all together and it makes for a great time.

This year's festival takes place on Saturday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $5 for the antique show only and $10 for the antique show and a souvenir wine glass and six tasting tickets.

The list of wineries includes: Javelina Leap Winery from Page Springs, Coronado Vineyards from Willcox, Ft. Bowie Winery of Bowie and their now famous Pecan Delight wine, Kokopelli Winery in Tempe, and Alcantara Winery, right here on the banks of the Verde River.

There is no set schedule yet, but Parks and Recreation director Lynda Moore said there are plans for tours of the Alcantara Winery, just west of Camp Verde.

The bakers at Bashas' will supply about 250 pecan pies. They will not, however, be your run of the mill institutional pecan pie.

This year bakers will be following the recipe of the Verde Valley's Grand Pooh-Bah of Pecan's, and local pecan rancher, Dick Tinlin.

There will be tours of Tinlin's pecan operation both Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Both tours will leave from the Festival and transport visitors via horse-drawn hay wagon.

In addition to the tours, the event will include a pecan-judging contest.

Anyone interested in having their nuts judged by a professional will need to hand them over to the Camp Verde Parks and Recreation department by Friday, Feb 9.

Three jazz bands will provide entertainment and background mood music throughout the weekend. They include jazz master Pete Pancrazi, Jazz a'la Mode, and Sammy Davis Band. The bands will perform under the big tent, complete with dance floor.

There will also be demonstrations by master gardeners including one on composting and a question-and-answer session on the growing of grapes and pecans.

If that isn't enough, Nancy Wilson will give a spinning demonstration and Charlie Pettijohn will spotlight glassblowing.

But wait Š there's more.

In addition to all of the activities at the festival, downtown merchants will have a number of related activities including a Valentine's Music Walk featuring live music and a chance to win prizes.

For more details, call the Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Department at 567-0535, Ext. 136, or visit

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