Now that the holidays are over, Ridgecrest is looking forward to new events coming to the downtown area, starting with Balsam Night on Balsam Street on Friday, February 10th.
A joint effort of the City of Ridgecrest, the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce and the Welcome Center, the event will feature wines from the award-winning Tehachapi Winery and Paso Robles.
Balsam Street between Argus Street and French Streets will be the focal point of the event and will be roped off for vehicular traffic. Balsam Street business owners keep their doors open late into the night for beer and wine pouring events.
In addition, eight food vendors will be selling food along the street, and event-goers can visit local stores or sit at one of the many tables set up to enjoy live music from a local band. I have an opportunity. Join DJ Frank JO to taste some of the best wines produced in the county, if not the country.
Kari Crutcher, Executive Director of the Welcome Center said:
Participating companies will not pour the wine themselves, but they will welcome event attendees to their stores and provide them with the opportunity to enjoy the event.
Event planners say they hope this will be the first of many events of its kind to be featured in one of Ridgecrest’s most historic business districts.
“We’re serious about revitalizing downtown Balsam,” said Crutcher.
The event is free to attend, but three bottles of wine are available for $25 for those 21 and older.
“That’s actually a pretty good price for pouring three glasses,” Crutcher said.
Coming from Tehachapi’s largest winery is Tehachapi Winery, owned by Mike Chang. Chan has won multiple awards for his strains as the grapes are grown on 4,000 feet of Triassic granite, creating a unique flavor found only in Tehachapi vineyards.
Rancho de los Viajeros, also in the Tehachapi district, ships award-winning wines featuring Malbec grapes.
Rancho de los Viajeros owner Ilda Vaja said, “I can’t be there personally, but I’m looking forward to letting the people of Ridgecrest taste my Malbec. In 2018, Vaja strain won a double gold award at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Pianetta Winery, also in Tehachapi, is one of the newest vineyards in the region, and you can also pour their strains.
Tobin James Cellars will travel all the way from the Paso Robles area to attend the evening’s event.
“We are really excited to have Tobin James at our event,” Crutcher said. “They have a huge following here in Ridgecrest, so people are really happy to see them here. I think you are.”
Toby James produced his first wine in the early 1990s, the now-famous 1985 Blue Moon Zinfandel, winning two gold medals and being named one of Wine Spectator’s coveted “Top 100 Wines of the Year”. was selected as From there, he opened his cellar in 1993, joined by partners and winemakers Lance and Claire Silver in 1996 to update and expand the winery. They also started the “James Gang” wine club. The most popular wine club. ”
Crutcher said one of the Welcome Center’s goals is to continue building as a local cooperative and partnership, and he’s excited to see Tehachapi Winery participating in the fledgling event.
Food vendors include Classic Gyros, Casey’s Restaurant, Lumpia Lady, VEN – A Communal Eatery, Ephen Tacos, Molina Tacos, Roaming Dog Kitchen, and Tutu’s (kettle corn).
Flightline Tap Room will also provide food and beverage options as the primary sponsor of the event.
“This gives the community the opportunity to visit the many small businesses and unique shops that we can offer to the community, which is of great value to the city. We hope to be the first,” said Rebecca McCourt, executive director of the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce.
Megan McKenzie and Isabel Medina, management analysts for the City of Ridgecrest, say they look forward to hosting more events of this kind in Ridgecrest.
“This is the first event of its kind and we use it as a learning curve, but the idea is to do an event every few months at Balsam and try to build on the theme,” McKenzie said. says.
Medina added, “This is another way we are trying to revitalize the downtown area and we think it will help us. We can use the ambience to promote economic development.” .
Other sponsors include Casa Corona, RAW Media Productions and Catering Thyme. Other sponsors include Waste Management and The Daily Independent.
Advance tickets will not be sold prior to the event, but will be on sale “at the door” beginning at 5pm.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at two check-in stations along the street.
For more information, please call Isabel Medina, Management Analyst for the City of Ridgecrest at 760-499-5065. Find event updates at Ridgecrest-CA.gov.