Summer kicks off in Leelanau County with the annual Leland Wine & Food Festival on Saturday, June 11. Enjoy local award-winning wines, delicious specialties from area restaurants and vendors, live music and stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands from the Leland Harbor.

We checked in with Kate Vilter, owner of Leland’s Riverside Inn, about the Northern Michigan event organized by the Leland Chamber of Commerce.

628e7af9-e29c-47a5-90d0-4649e6fa99a8Northern Michigan has several summer festivals. What makes the Leland Wine & Food Festival stand out?

“Well, there are a number of reasons. We are one of the oldest in the state (31 years). And our location is pretty perfect—right in the Leland Harbor. But, the way I see it, our festival really kicks off the summer season. Summer bliss starts here on June 11!”

As an event organizer, what are you excited about this year?

“Our headlining band this year is the Ben Daniels Band so that is the thing I am most excited about! And, this year, we are a 100 percent Leelanau wine event. When we started 31 years ago, we had wineries from all across the state. About 10 years ago, we made it a Northern Michigan only event. And this year we are 100 percent Leelanau. So, we will see some new faces at the festival, as well as ones that haven’t been with us in years. It will be pretty fabulous.”

Since people can come and go with the re-entry wristbands, what are a few not-to-miss things to see outside of the festival?

“Within just a few blocks of the festival, you can be on the beach—either Lake Michigan or Lake Leelanau—so pack a towel and a suit. Plus, the Leland shopping district is pretty fabulous. Haystacks of Leland is the original shop where it all started so don’t miss that. You also have to check out historic Fishtown located right next to the Leland Harbor.”

Check out more of Leland’s boutiques here.

The Ben Daniels Band and Sierra Cassidy will certainly bring a lot of fun energy to the festival. Who else will be performing?

“Blind Dog Hank just confirmed that they’re playing at Wine Fest so Sierra starts us out, then Blind Dog Hank and then Ben Daniels Band.”

Is there anything you want to add?

“Make sure to pre-purchase the tickets for shorter lines at the entrance!”

Get your tickets to the 2016 Leland Wine & Food Festival!

Buy Tickets Now

Ticket price includes a commemorative glass and two wine tasting tokens. Wine Fest re-entry wristbands allow you to come and go anytime during the festival, which runs from 1 to 8 p.m.

More Northern Michigan Festivals

#2016 #Leelanau #Leland #Events #Festivals #Food_&_Drink #Wine #Vacation #Travel_Ideas

Photo(s) by Leland Wine & Food Festival