PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEY Jeffrey Ferry and his sister Karen inspect bottles of French Amplitude wine that was paired with Crepes at the 11th annual Bacchanalia at the Comfort Sites in south Bethlehem.
Wine tasting glasses were included with the price of the Bacchanalia XI ticket to benefit the Fountain Hill Playground and Recreation Improvement Fund.
These spinach and brie crepes were part of the unlimited food and wine tasting offerings enjoyed by participants at the Fountain Hill fundraiser. Eight local restaurants provided their specialties for the annual event.
Cactus Blue Restaurant volunteers Maddie Santee and Jacki Mohap provided warm smiles along with homemade salsa and chips at one of the food tasting stations. Various ethnic dishes were featured at this year's Bacchanalia.
Salisbury Township Manager Randy Soriano (right) samples a variety of sushi from The Other Fish in South Bethlehem. Serving him is Other Fish owner Matthew Reichard.
The lines were long at some of the food stations, and no wonder. Nearly 300 people bought tickets to sample the unlimited food and wine presentations. Fruit and cheese tables were provided by Valley Farm Markets.
Shanda Brown (right) of Allentown is greeted with a glass of wine at the Bacchanalia by Carmen Ferry. Brown was among the 300 attendees who paid $35 a ticket to benefit the playground and recreation programs in Fountain Hill.
Madison-Maya Nagai dishes up some Shamrock humor along with the Guiness beef and kidney stew from Molly's Irish Grille in South Bethlehem. Besides donating food for the fundraiser, the participating restaurants also provided staff to serve attendees.
Bacchanalia XI boasts 'banner year'
The ancient Romans were fond of their festivals in honor of Bacchus, the god of wine, which were celebrated with dancing, song and revelry. The degree of revelry is a matter of scholarly debate, but most certainly, wine flowed freely.
In the spirit of the best of the Roman festival, the Fountain Hill Bacchanalia has been celebrated for the past 11 years, serving delicious food and wine, and raising funds for a good cause. In its first decade, the event has donated $47,000 for improvements and upgrades to the playground and other recreational facilities that benefit children in Fountain Hill and surrounding communities.
The annual food- and wine-tasting event has grown in popularity every year, and this October's Bacchanalia XI met its goal of $10,000 by selling nearly 300 tickets.
"This is a banner year," event coordinator Angela Sinkler said, noting that attendance was 20 percent higher than in 2012.
The committee that organizes and hosts the Bacchanalia is run by people who all grew up in Fountain Hill. Funds raised this year will be used for sliding boards for the swimming pool, toddler rides for the playground and improvements to handicapped access.
Food was donated by local restaurants Cactus Blue Mexican Restaurant, Molly's Irish Grille & Sports Pub, Blue Sky Café, Yianni's Taverna, Taste of Italy Ristorante, Full of Crepe and The Other Fish Japanese Restaurant. Desserts were served by Ivory Poinsettia and Sugar Babe Cupcakes, and fruit and cheese by Valley Farm Markets. Doug Hawk and Mike Lorenz provided entertainment.