The Defiance Merchants Association is sponsoring the first annual Wine Country Fest in Historic Missouri Wine Country on Father's Day Weekend, Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19. The weekend's festivities begin Friday night with "Dancing in Defiance". The events continue on Saturday with a bicycle "Pedal Poker Run" along the Katy Trail, and a "Wine Country Market". Sunday will offer a second day of the "Wine Country Market" along with the "King of the Hill" BBQ Competition.

Cindy Gillentine, Wine Country Fest Chairperson said, "The Defiance Merchants Association is proud to present a weekend festival in the community with a variety of activities that are sure to please all ages. We chose Father's Day weekend to offer families a fun way to spend time together, while ensuring that the variety of activities were appealing to all."

The weekend kicks off with Friday evening's "Dancing In Defiance" at Sugar Creek Winery. The fun begins when doors open at 5 pm with dancing to the music of Scott Laytham & Karl Holmes from 6pm - 9 pm. Price is $25 per person which includes 2 drink tickets.

Saturday's "Pedal Poker Run" provides bicyclists with a 6.5-mile fun ride, while collecting a winning poker hand. The ride begins at Wine Country Gardens at 11 am, stopping at various merchants along the way, and ends at the Trail Smokehouse at 3 pm where prizes will be awarded. Cost is $10 per hand.

Saturday and Sunday will feature a "Wine Country Market" in the Mason's Park in downtown Defiance from 11 am to 5 pm. The market also serves as the Fest "hub". A variety of farmers and artisans will be on hand with delicious produce and unique items for purchase. Live music on Saturday features Jason Garms, and Sunday features Brian & Lola. Music both days from 1 to 4 pm.

Sunday's "King of the Hill" BBQ competition will be held at Chandler Hill Vineyards from 11 am to 5 pm. There will be three categories of competition with cash prizes, and the King of the Hill trophy awarded to the Grand Champion. Registration Fee is $30 per team.

The Defiance Merchants Association is a group of business owners committed to promoting the area of Defiance and the Historic Missouri Wine Country Region.

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If you would like more information about the festival, please contact Cindy Gillentine at 314-853-3116 or email at csgillentine@aol.com. For more information and registration go to www.winecountryfest.com.