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7 tips to survive & thrive at the Fleurs de Fete wine fest

Fleurs de Fete, Dayton’s largest wine and food festival, can be great fun — even moreso if you follow these few survival-and-enhancement tips from a savvy veteran who went to the first one in 1990 and darn near every one of ‘em since then.
This is the 27th year for the festival, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 20 at Carillon Historical Park. 

This year’s festival will include more than 400 wines available for sampling at no additional cost beyond admission, along with complimentary dishes from local restaurants, caterers, food trucks and other food vendors. It will also feature a Stella Artois Belgian Beer Garden, live music, and a silent auction showcasing fine wines, baskets, travel packages and other experiences donated by local businesses.

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Follow these tips, and you’ll thank me later:

• Arrive early.

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• Don’t wait too long to sample the foods.

• Use the dump buckets and don’t be afraid to pour out wines you don’t love. 

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• When you've poured a sample of wine — and there's a line of folks with empty glasses behind you — get out of the way! 

• Wear sensible shoes. Leave the stilettos for another occasion when you're not tromping around in grass.

• Don’t wear white. White clothing is a magnet for red-wine spills and mustard.

• Drink water — lots of water.

Contributed photo by (Tom Gilliam) Photography (Tom Gilliam)

Tickets cost $70 in advance, $75 at the door, and are available until May 19th online at fleursdefete.com or at the following locations: Arrow Wine & Spirits,  Carillon Brewing Co., Carillon Historical Park, Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets in Beavercreek and Centerville, and Ray's Wine Spirits Grill.

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Here’s a list of the participating restaurants and vendors, as supplied by Dayton History/Carillon Park: 

Basil's On Market 

Blue Note Bistro & Lounge 

Brock Masterson's 

Butter Cafe 

Carillon Brewing Co. 

Carver's Steaks & Chops 

Central Perc 

Citilites at the Schuster Center 

CoCo's Bisto 

Dewey's Pizza 

elé Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar 

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market 

Giovanni's 

Grist 

Jay's Seafood 

Khmericano Coffee 

Melt Bar & Grilled 

Ray's Wine Spirits Grill 

The Oakwood Club 

Tiers of Sugar 

Watermark Restaurant 

Zombie Dogz

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 The outdoor wine and food festival was founded in 1990 by Heidelberg Distributing Co. and Arrow Wine & Spirits as a charity event. The festival was held at Carillon Park for a few years following its inception, spent several years at Lincoln Park Civic Commons in Kettering, returned to Carillon Park from 2001-2014, briefly changed its name to  “Fleurs et Vin,” spent 2015 at Welcome Park near Welcome Stadium, then returned to its roots in 2016 with its original Fleurs de Fete name and its original venue at Carillon Park.

For more information, go to fleursdefete.com.

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