WYANDOTTE — The city’s annual fundraiser for a local cancer center has become a popular tradition for local wine lovers.
Patrons who buy a glass for $15 also will receive a wristband and map that allows them to visit various downtown businesses to sample Michigan wine and champagne. The collectible glasses have featured different designs by Southgate artist Nancy Pitel over the years.
“We could sell more than 1,000 glasses, but we can’t really handle more than 1,000 tasters,” said Vicki Lucas, chairwoman and co-owner of Bishop Brighton Bed and Breakfast. “The merchants in town buy the wine as their contribution to the cause, and we just can’t ask them for more, so we have other plans in addition to the wine crawl.”
This year’s expansion plans are ambitious, she said.
“Although the wine crawl will follow last year’s pattern and take place on August’s Third Friday, which falls on the 21st and runs from 6 until 9 p.m., there will be a large, exciting afterglow party,” Lucas said.
Held west of Belicoso’s Martini and Cigar Bar on First Street, the party nicknamed “Belicoso’s Backyard Bash” will run from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and feature popular local bands, beer, food, dancing and VIP tables
“It will be like an outdoor club scene,” Lucas said.
The bash takes place Friday and Saturday evenings. A portion of the profits will benefit the Josephine Ford Cancer Center Downriver. Friday’s $5 cover charge will be donated to the center, and wine crawl participants can enter free by showing their wristband.
The wristband also will ensure many other discounts during both days at various retailers and eateries; the accompanying map lists wristband special offers and locations, along with featured wines.
Lucas recommends buying glasses in advance at one of the participating downtown locations: 4Her, River’s Edge Gallery, Monroe Bank & Trust, Curves, Traffic Jam, Wyandotte Federal Credit Union, the Josephine Ford Cancer Center Downriver and Charter One Bank. Henry Ford Health System employees also can purchase event glasses on the Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital campus. Glass sales began Monday and will continue through Thursday. On Friday, the day of the event, glasses will be sold at the corner of Maple and Biddle beginning at 5:30 p.m.
On Friday, Dave Roden of Lincoln Park will create a 6-foot-by-8-foot, three-dimensional street mural of a wine bottle on the sidewalk at the corner of Maple and Biddle at Third. Rachel May and Billy Reedy start with music at 6:30 p.m.on First at the Backyard Bash location. May sings and plays in local bands and writes a music column for a local daily newspaper.
She’ll be followed by Larry Lee & Back in the Day from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Lee, an ex-NFL player who organizers say performs a high-energy, Motown-style set. On Saturday, Carolyn Striho will start the musical entertainment at 6:30 p.m. She is a musician, singer and songwriter who has toured with Patti Smith and has been nominated for seven Detroit Music Awards. The Sun Messengers perform the rest of the night from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. They are the official band of the Detroit Pistons with an eight-piece, horn-driven, rhythm and blues show band.
The usual Third Friday free horse and carriage rides, trolley tours, sales specials and art openings also will be featured.