Photo credit: South Italy Imports

Raise a toast to summer as the popular SangriaFest returns to SteelStacks in Bethlehem Sat., July 15. Tickets for the festival, which sold out in its inaugural year, go on sale today at noon at and 610-332-3378.

At SangriaFest, attendees sample 10 different sangrias, all made with light and refreshing wines imported by South Italy Imports from family-owned vineyards throughout Italy. The event includes classical offerings like traditional Spanish Sangria, as well as contemporary takes on the drink like “Georgia Peach” and the pomegranate and green tea infused “Zen Sangria.” The 2016 event attracted 3,000 attendees and this year ArtsQuest and South Italy imports have enhanced the experience for guests by adding two different sampling sessions: The first takes place from 1-4 p.m., with a limited access VIP experience from noon-1 p.m. (VIP Access Ticket required), while the second runs from 6-9 p.m., with a VIP experience from 5-6 p.m.

“The magic of Sangria is the transformation of a wine into a completely different taste experience,” says Bill Binczak Jr. of the family-owned South Italy Imports. “Through introducing fresh and unexpected ingredients into the wine, it elevates the drink to a simultaneously surprising and refreshing elixir.

“At SangriaFest we take your palate on a ride, playing with pleasingly sweet notes and invigoratingly tart ones. The goal is to introduce flavors from across the globe to highlight the tremendous versatility of wine. We call this the ‘Art of Sangria.’”

New at SangriaFest for 2017 are Bocce courts where guests can enjoy the game throughout the day. Other highlights include food trucks like Fired Up Artisan Oven (Flatbreads), Sprout Stream by Sven’s Café (Artisan Sandwiches & Tacos) and Dough Heads Waffles (Savory & Sweet Waffles); live music by Billy Bauer Band and Light Up the Moon; games like beanbags and quoits; and a chance for guests to take their best shot at local celebrities sitting in the SangriaFest dunk tank. Proceeds from SangriaFest support the nonprofit ArtsQuest’s free music, arts and education programming for the region, while revenues raised from the dunk tank go to Angel 34, the nonprofit dedicated to bringing hope and healing to families of those affected by childhood cancer.

Ticket prices for SangriaFest are below; every guest who attends the event receives an official SangriaFest souvenir tasting glass:

Advance Day of
ArtsQuest Member VIP Access $             65.00  $    75.00
Public VIP Access $             69.00  $    79.00
ArtsQuest Member Regular Admission $             30.00  $    35.00
Public Regular Admission $             34.00  $    39.00

VIP Access Tickets, which are available in limited quantities, include early access to the event and the opportunity to sample handcrafted sangria cocktails designed by mixologists from popular Lehigh Valley restaurants like Tapas on Main, The Brick, Edge, White Orchid, The Bayou and Historic Hotel Bethlehem. All VIP ticketholders also receive an official SangriaFest lanyard, SangriaFest sunglasses and have the opportunity to vote for their favorite drink as the “Best Sangria of SangriaFest 2017.”