The month-long event celebrating the East End returns

Warm Up With Winterfest




Long Island Winterfest returns for its 13th year starting this weekend, celebrating the culture and cuisine of the East End.

It runs from Friday, February 7, through Sunday, March 8.

Winterfest brings together a broad collection of small businesses, across all industries, to showcase the authentic culture of the area. The event brings in off-season tourism, and locals can participate in experiences that combat winter doldrums.

The five-week festival kicks off with a party on Friday, February 7, at Hotel Indigo in Riverhead from 7 to 10 PM. Event highlights include live music by Jonathan Fritz and DJ by ELI Entertainment, and samplings and goodies from dozens of East End vendors.

New this year is a VIP Passport for $39.95 that comes with discounts and special offers all month long, beginning with access to the kickoff after-hours party and a take home NoFoBox/SoFoBox filled with goodies. Paintballers will enjoy the free admission to Cousins Paintball in Calverton.

Other highlights of the VIP package include buy one, get one on general admission to the Parrish Art Museum, a $25 horse rescue farm tour for six at Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue, a 20-percent discount at Long Island Spirits, a complimentary bottle of Champagne and chocolate truffles with a two-night stay at Arbor View House B&B, one dozen oysters and a bottle of sparkling wine with an overnight stay at The Menhaden, and more expected to be added.

In Riverhead, East End Arts welcomes visitors and locals to experience its “Winter Fantasy” exhibit throughout the duration of Winterfest. Drop by to view or purchase an original piece.

On Saturday, February 8, Long Ireland Beer Company will host its annual North Fork Chocolate and beer tasting from 1 to 5 PM or, if chocolate isn’t your thing, head to Moustache Brewing Company from 2 to 7 PM for a beer and cheese pairing. On Valentine’s weekend, Clovis Point Vineyard and Winery will host a chocolate and wine pairing, perfect for romantics.

One of the best things about Winterfest is the music, as live bands and DJs perform at local establishments. Catch acts like Greg Parr, Marty Attridge, Joe Gentile, MOJO Band, DJ Deuce, The Cowboy Astronauts, Jesse Nissenbaum, Sal Valentinetti, Ahmad Ali, Karl Blessing, The Foster Europe Band, DJ Oh Henry, Edward Cassidy, Bobby Digital, James and The Flying Fox, Paris Ray, Rick Rempe, Dinny Keg, Dan Hill, Melanie Morin, Brian Dyer, The HooDoo Loungers, and Erin Chase.

Additional events include an indoor farmers market in Riverhead, special events at Long Island Spirits, Art Barre by Peconic Ballet Theatre, Hamptons Bedside Reading Authors Weekend February 28, book signing by Natalie Banks with Hamptons Coffee on February 29, Two Forks and A Cork at Parrish Art Museum on Saturday, March 7, and much, much more.

For tickets and a full list of events and dates, visit www.longislandwinterfest.com.

nicole@indyeastend.com