March 11, 2021
It was a year ago this week that we learned that our beloved restaurant partners, along with so many other businesses in our community, were being forced to close their doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. The memory is as clear as the day that we looked at each other and said, “Well, the good news is that the festival is more than three months away. This will all be behind us by then.”
It’s unfathomable to think how wrong we were! Who would have ever guessed that, months later, we’d have not only postponed the event until later in the season, but we’d then postpone it again in its entirety for the year. There was never a doubt in our minds that we would be back in full swing in 2021.
And now here we are, a full twelve months later, having to share the disheartening news that we will once again be unable to host Burlington Wine & Food in 2021.
It’s encouraging to see signs that a “return to normalcy” is creeping forward, as states reopen and vaccines are administered. However, the sad reality is that it is simply not feasible to execute an event of this scale in just over three months.
Burlington Wine & Food shares many of the same challenges as all of the other events, festivals, concerts, weddings and sporting events that have been on hold for the past year. With so much uncertainty still at play in terms of gathering sizes, mask mandates and distancing precautions, it has made it difficult to plan accordingly as to whether the event would be allowed to take place.
Beyond that, we also have some circumstances that are unique to our particular event that have made it impossible to begin even the preliminary planning. Many restaurants continue to struggle with the limitations imposed upon them (and in many cases are still closed), making it difficult to have conversations about their participation. And our winery partners, who join us from all over the country and the world, have no way of knowing what travel and quarantine restrictions will continue to be in place. Without our restaurants and wineries, we essentially have no event.
And so, we will wait it out for yet another year. We’ll continue to have faith that, come 2022, we’ll be able to join you for the BIGGEST celebration ever…heaven knows, we'll certainly all be ready for it!
In the meantime, we’ll toast you from afar and will be ready to join you at a table -- seated together, or at the bar -- at one of the incredible restaurants that we know will be welcoming all of us back in Vermont very soon.
Cheers…here’s to 2022!
Mike & Tracy Stolese