Door County’s only outdoor “foodie” festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Scheduled for Saturday, June 23, Uncork Summer will once again take place on the beautiful grounds of Wickman House in Ellison Bay.
Mickie Rasch, Door County North’s Community Coordinator, said the event’s hours have been tweaked a bit this year to reflect the realities of the changing hospitality industry. “Door County has turned into such a major dining destination over recent years,” said Rasch, “with food becoming more and more of a reason to visit, that we needed to make it easier for our food vendors to return to their busy restaurants for Saturday evening food service. Uncork’s food booth hours are now from 11 am to 2 pm, during which time our food vendors will be serving thousands of small plate dishes. The Wickman House bar tent, however, will be open from 11 am – 4 pm, and Erin Krebs and her band will play during the same hours. It’ll still be an all-day celebration of food, wine and music!”
There is a minimal $10 admission fee per person to attend Uncork Summer. Inexpensive tickets for food, wine, beer and cocktails are all available on-site for just $5 each, the event’s uniform price for individual small plate dishes and drinks, whether wines, ciders, beer or cocktails.
Located outdoors on the beautiful grounds of Wickman House (wickmanhouse.com), this year’s event features 20 food vendor and sponsor booths, plus wines, local ciders, craft beers and unique hand-crafted cocktails in the Wickman House bar tent. Jazz vocalist Erin Krebs and her combo will perform on the Uncork Music Stage throughout the day.
Uncork Summer debuted in 2014 as a means to showcase the county’s top chefs in a single setting and to signify the start of the northern Door County summer tourism season. The event immediately reached a broad audience of foodies and has grown each subsequent year. Even with the threaten of rain during last year’s event, almost 2,000 attendees sampled Uncork’s food vendor booths.
Mickie Rasch said Uncork Summer has expanded visitor awareness of the far northern Door County region. “Every year,” said Rasch, “Uncork Summer brings thousands of visitors to Ellison Bay, many of whom have never been to the Door Peninsula before or travelled to the northern end of the county. We have so much to offer, not only in high-end food, but in amazing natural beauty and outdoor activities. We’re also rich in visual artists, especially potters.”
Rasch noted that two local nonprofits are participating in Uncork Summer this year by extending their hours. Ellison Bay Arts (facebook.com/EllisonBayArts) is extending gallery hours to 7 pm and the Liberty Grove Historical Society will open for the season on June 23rd and is extending its museum hours until 5 pm. “We love introducing new visitors to these attractions,” said Rasch, “and after five years, our businesses see this as the key opening event for the coming summer season in northern Door.”
Expansive free parking for Uncork Summer is located at the Liberty Grove Historical Society property at the top of the Ellison Bay hill at the south end of the village. Free trolleys will ferry visitors from the parking areas to the Wickman House grounds.
Uncork Summer, Door County Food Wine Music Festival. Located at Wickman House, 11976 Mink River Road, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin. Date: June 23, 2018. Food Hours: 11 am–2 pm, Drinks/Music Hours: 11 am – 4 pm. For more info: 920.854.4450, or visit www.uncorksummer.comfor an updated list of participating restaurants and other information.