Lincoln’s downtown is great addition to cityBy: Carol Feineman, Editor
We’ve given a great deal of ink to this year’s sixth annual Lincoln Wine Fest the last several weeks.
And this week, we have a front-page story and two photo pages (A12 and A13) about the wine fest that took over downtown Lincoln Saturday.
That’s because the annual event is good two-fold for the Lincoln community.
First, funds are raised for worthy Rotary Club local projects and events, from college scholarships to supporting youth sports teams to assisting The Salt Mine food closet.
Second, but just as important, the event promotes an awareness that we have a friendly and charming downtown.
It’s fantastic having hundreds see our cute downtown. In the nine years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen the downtown attract more clothing shops, more restaurants, more gift shops and more specialty stores. Downtown is becoming a destination but we need to get the word out.
Thanks to the annual fest, hundreds of area residents who don’t venture to Lincoln Boulevard and adjacent streets make sure they’re downtown during the event, which features wine, food, music and socializing.
In fact, 900 attendees were at Saturday’s wine fest. The wine fest sold out Saturday afternoon and several would-be attendees had to be turned away.
Seventeen Placer County wineries set up wine-tastings in 17 downtown shops and restaurants, paired with food from the local restaurants, to share with 900 happy visitors Saturday.
“Our estimate is 45 percent were from Lincoln and 55 percent were out of towners,” said Lincoln Wine Fest chairwoman Joann Hilton.
The majority of those 900 event-goers have probably never been to downtown Lincoln. On Saturday, I heard many of them say they never realized the downtown offered such a variety of shops.
As a Lincoln resident, I smiled when compliments flew all afternoon about the city’s “nice historic look” or “the quaint downtown” or how return visits were “a must.”
I hope the wine fest-goers do come back regularly, not just for the annual fest but several times during the month. Downtown visitors spend money at the gas stations, the stores and the restaurants. And that helps our local sales tax revenues go up, which in turn provides funding for city services that improve residents’ quality of life.
When I have to circle Lincoln Boulevard, Fifth Street or F Street looking for a parking space, like I did Saturday, I’m glad. That means others are enjoying the shops, perhaps playing or exercising in McBean Park, looking at the historic buildings or grabbing a bite to eat.
Downtown Lincoln has a lot to offer. If you haven’t been downtown lately, make it a destination. You’ll have fun. Just don’t wait for a festival to enjoy the area.
Carol Feineman can be reached at 916-774-7972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.