Thousands celebrate wine, food and culture of northern Michigan

Thousands of people kicked off the summer season with the annual Traverse City Wine and Art Festival.

The event was hosted at the Grand Traverse Commons Saturday afternoon for a celebration of regional wine, food and culture in northern Michigan.

Wine makers from old mission and Leelanau peninsulas were on hand to meet and greet with people and showcase some of their popular wines.

Staff from 13 different local restaurants were also there pairing their gourmet dishes with the wines.

The event also features 40 regional artists and live musical performances from artist such as Mayer Hawthorne.

â??There's 200 wines to choose from all in one location and that's a very rare opportunity,â?? said event director Lorri Hathaway. â??The food vendors we have like The Towne Plaza, Opa Uptown and Stella have a really great food menu out here and the fact that we can bring it all and keep it local is awesome.â??

It was the sixth annual event, and organizers expected close to four thousand people to attend.