February 13, 2017
The Virginia Living Museum’s 13th annual Bacchus Wine & Food Festival, presented by Old Point National Bank, successfully concluded February 3. With more than 680 guests in attendance and raising approximately $73,000, it was truly a night for the gods.
From top to bottom, both levels of the museum were filled with festive games, live music, diverse tastes from local restaurants, fine wines and craft beer. As the Divine Reception began, Bacchus met guests at the door to greet “the mortals.” VIP guests then kicked off the festival by filling their first glass with champagne and strolling through the museum before the crowds appeared. During the hour-long reception guests also enjoyed exclusive food samples and 90 plus rated wines. When the Divine Reception concluded, the Main Event commenced and guests were invited to join the festivities.
Guests played a variety of games such as cork pull, ring toss, and cork throw. Among the merriment, the event featured a silent auction with items donated from local businesses. With more than 22 local restaurants and fare present, an eclectic variety of cuisine was available for guests to savor throughout the night. Throughout the museum galleries local artists and entertainers engaged and enticed visitors. Colonial DJs hosted karaoke in the café where guests sang and danced the night away while Melissa Kepley from The Magickal Attic performed tantalizing card readings in the museum’s cave and Magician Hugh Koontz walked among the visitors sharing his own brand of card trick magic. Musicians PC Duo, Louis Vangieri/LCV Project, Zen Mojo, and Chris Crank serenaded guests throughout the night with their diverse styles and melodious tunes. The headlining Fuzz Band had the crowd grooving and jiving to their funky style and incredible stage presence leaving guests asking for an encore.
Participating restaurant include: Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant, Chef by Design, Cookie Text, Dier House Coffee Roasters, Donatos Pizza, The Grey Goose Café, Harpoon Larry’s Oyster Bar, Kismet Bistro, Nawab Indian Cuisine, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Schlesinger’s Steakhouse – Opus 9, Sinful Treats, Smoke BBQ Restaurant, Starbucks, Thaijindesu Thai & Sushi Bar, Trader Joe’s, Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Tucanos Brazilian Grill, Vintners Cellar Winery & Restaurant, Wild Side Café, Whitley’s Peanuts, Whole Foods and Zoes Kitchen.
“Bacchus is our largest fundraiser for the VLM, and we are grateful for the continued support of the community and local businesses who support us,” said Rehn West, VLM Assistant Development Director. This year’s supporting sponsors were Consumer Litigation Associates, Hampton Roads Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Virginia Health Services, Kaufman & Canoles, VCA Boulevard Animal Hospital, Distinctive Event Rentals, Breakthru Beverage Virginia, St. George Brewing Co., and Jeff’s Flowers Of Course Inc. The event’s presenting sponsor was Old Point National Bank.
Although the festival is a time for celebration, relaxation, and socialization, it is also a large contributor to the museum’s operation and mission to connect people to nature. The Bacchus Wine & Food Festival will help support science education and animal care needs of the museum. The community’s continuous support enables the VLM to sustain and strengthen the institution.
The museum is located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News, I-64, exit 258A.