Wine Festival and Vintage Boat Show Returns to Smith Mountain Lake This Weekend | Local News
Molly Hunter and Jason Dunovant The Roanoke Times
Two popular annual events resume this weekend on opposite sides of Smith Mountain Lake after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic: the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival and the Antique and Classic Boat Show.
Saturday will mark the 30th Motor Boat Show hosted by the SML Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. This year’s show will be held at Crazy Horse Marina in Franklin County rather than the old eve, Mariners Landing in Bedford County.
The wine festival, meanwhile, will take place Saturday and Sunday at Mariners Landing.
The wine festival pours itWith its return, the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce wants to make the SML Wine Festival bigger than ever. Several nationally acclaimed bands have been added to the musical lineup this year to accompany the more than 30 wineries that will be attending.
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Saturday’s headline band will be The SteelDrivers, a Nashville-based bluegrass band that has been nominated for multiple Grammy Awards and won Best Bluegrass Album in 2015. On Sunday, eight-piece soul band St. Paul & The Broken Bones will perform in the headlining spot.
Andrew Bruns, executive director of the SML regional chamber of commerce, said the fame of the two groups has led to more ticket outlets outside the lake region. Tickets were sold to people in 19 states.
“It’s going to be phenomenal,” Bruns said. “It will be a great event for everyone who comes.”
Mariners Landing in Huddleston was originally announced as the new home of the SML Wine Festival in January 2020. It was previously held at Crazy Horse Marina in Moneta. The event, which started in 1989, was canceled in 2020 and 2021.
Shuttles will be provided from the car parks to the festival. According to Josh Newsome, owner of New Event Logistics, parking will be set up in an area on Graves Harbor Trail and an open field on Lake Retreat Road.
More information about the festival as well as ticket purchase options are available at smlwinefestival.com.
The show celebrates wooden boats
The classic boat show usually attracts between 35 and 50 boats, but it’s not the club’s only gathering; members meet and cruise regularly.
The boat show is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The good part about this lake that a lot of lakes don’t have is that we have restaurants on the lake. We have things to do, places to go and we can do it all by boat. You can visit your neighbor by boat,” club member Alan Frederick said.
Club member David Olsen noted that owning a full-size craft is not a prerequisite for joining the club. He didn’t own one when he joined, but club members helped him try different things and figure out what he liked before making a purchase.
Frederick added that some club members focus on building model boats rather than full-size craft.
Club members are eager to share their passion with anyone and everyone, especially the younger ones. Frederick compared wooden boats to cars.
“Wooden boats are no different from a car; as long as you maintain them, they’re not that hard to maintain,” Frederick said. “It’s just a great hobby to practice.”
Frederick worked on a 35ft runabout and had help from local student Olivia Dow.
“She comes and works with me whenever she can, and that really helps a lot. She gets a good upbringing and she likes it, so it’s fun. Her grandfather is in our club, so she has a bit the itch,” Frederick said.
The star boat at this year’s show is Mike Mutchler’s 1990 Grand Craft named Deelited.
It is a 24-foot luxury sport utility model, and one of 19 built.
Mutchler dubbed the 460 V-8 inside Deelated his “ecumenical engine”. The engine was purchased from Ford, marinized by Chrysler, and uses a General Motors carburetor.
Everyone can access the boat show, including non-members of the club. Many participants are lake residents, but some come from further afield.
This year, Miss America IX is set to make an appearance.
A 1930 speedboat, Miss America IX is famous for being the first boat to exceed 100 mph, which it did on March 20, 1931, on Florida’s Indian River where it peaked at 102.256 mph.
The craft has been to the SML boat show twice before – first in 2011 and again in 2016 – while under the ownership of Chuck and Diane Mistele. Chuck Mistele passed away last year, but his family still owns Miss America IX and his son-in-law and Diane Mistele prevail.