WILSON – If past years are any indication, at least 1,500 motorcycles are expected to roll into town Friday evening, kicking off a very busy weekend in Wilson, topped off by a Wine and Art Festival on Saturday.
The 14th annual “Bike Nite” will feature music, food and vendors of motorcycle-related items and a friendly competition.
The Wilson House Restaurant will host the motorcycle judging, with awards in several categories. Contest entry fee is $5, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Wilson Community Food Pantry and Greenwood Veterans Memorial, according to Melinda Major, who coordinates the event for Wilson Business and Professional Association.
Gates open at 5 p.m., and the event will be held on Young Street. Music will be provided by Double Shot from 7 to 10.
“We have quite a few vendors offering things geared for bikers,” said Major. “We’ll have everything from charms to wood art to T-shirts. And, of course, we’ll have plenty of food vendors, too.
“We usually have roughly 1,500 bikes pull into town, and I’m being conservative,” she added. “It’s just amazing how many bikes we’ll have here. It’s a truly wonderful opportunity to bring in this many people, and it’s a community thing – everyone works together. The businesses will try and stay open to the max.”
“But by the next morning, everything will be all cleaned up and ready to go for the Wine and Art Festival,” she added.
The sixth annual Wilson Wine and Art Festival will feature a farmers’ market, as well, and run from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday on Young Street.
According to Colleen Leiker, who is helping coordinate the event for the Watch Wilson Grow organization, the event will feature 32 vendors this year, as well as offerings from a handful of local restaurants.
“Our focus this year is on local artisans from Western New York who create things, not just sell them,” she said. “We’ll have metal and wood artists, pen and ink, painters and people who create jewelry, for example.”
She added that local restaurants will sell everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to ribs and chicken and steamed clams.
Musicians on acoustic guitar and keyboard will provide live entertainment.
Also, a handful of local farmers will sell fruit, vegetables, flowers and even tart cherry juice.
Leiker said at least four wineries from the Niagara Wine Trail have signed on to participate: Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Black Willow Winery, Midnight Run Wine Cellars and Chateau Niagara Winery, which, Leiker pointed out, are all located within a few minutes of the Village of Wilson. Tickets for wine tastings, which include a keepsake glass, will be sold for $10.