The Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival is back.
The grandfather of the Verde Valley’s wine celebrations returns Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, to downtown Camp Verde. More than 20 years ago, when Verde Valley wines were still trying to gain a foothold in the Arizona industry, Camp Verde touted them alongside the well established pecan growers in a unique festival.
There will be local wines and there will be pecans, but there will also be crafts, food vendors, games and live music.
“Like all of our events, it’s free to come to the festival,” said Mike Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation manager.
Verde Valley Wine Consortium is bringing 13 wineries for the 21st festival. Northern Arizona Blues Alliance is bringing the roots and blues bands for the entertainment.
“We have almost 100 venders,” Marshall said. “Most will be outside, and some craft vendors will be in the gym.”
Whole pecans and pecan pies will be available for sale. There will also be a pecan pie contest. There will be a beer garden for the adults and a children’s activity area. Kids can also check out the pecan catapult.
The festival is centered at 75 E. Hollamon St., with parking available on the street and adjacent parking lots.
While the event is free to attend, wine tasting tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. That comes with a commemorative wine glass and six tasting tickets.
Participating wineries are 1764 Vineyards, Alcantara Vineyards, Arizona Stronghold Vineyards, Bodega Pierce, Clear Creek Vineyards, Cove Mesa Vineyard, Da Vines Vineyard, High Lonesome Vineyard, Heart Wood Cellars, Page Springs Cellars, Salt Mine Wine, Southwest Wine Center and Winery 101.
There will be COVID-19 safety protocols in place with social distancing and additional sanitizing of public areas. Though not required, masks are encouraged if social distancing at the event is not possible. Anyone with COVID-related symptoms is asked to stay home.
The Pecan & Wine Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Learn more at VisitCampVerde.com.
At the same time, next door at Fort Verde State Historic Park there will be a Mountain Man weekend both days. That will be an encampment with re-enactors showing how early 1800s explorers made their living through fur trapping, trading and outdoor survival skills. Those demonstrations will be going on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.