The public can whet their palates with the best red, white, sparkling or dessert wines from the prestigious L.A. County Fair’s Wines of the World competition at Summer Solstice, a celebration of fine art, music, wine and food slated for June 19 at the Millard Sheets Gallery at Fairplex. The event benefits the Millard Sheets Gallery Foundation.
Summer Solstice is the first opportunity for the public to savor the award winners of this year’s wine competition. In May, 87 judges from all over the world selected the most outstanding wines from more than 4,000 entries from 800 producers around the world – the most ever for the oldest and largest event of its kind in the U.S.
Wine experts will pour wines and offer guests little known facts about the vintages. Every wine has a story, and this is a great chance to hear how it gets from vine to bottle.
In addition to wine, Summer Solstice will feature fine cuisine from some of the region’s best restaurants. Scheduled to participate are Dr. Bob’s Ice Cream, Anthony’s at the Fair (C&C Concessions), the Brass Ring (Sheraton Suites Fairplex), the Local Baker, Spaggi’s, Sycamore Inn, Wolf’s Market, Cask n’ Cleaver, Parkway Grill and the Wedding Cake. Food will be served from 6 to 9 p.m. while guests enjoy the smooth sounds of the Citrus College Jazz Combo.
Summer Solstice will also be host to a fine art crafts sale and the American Ceramic Society – Design Chapter President’s Show. The featured artist is Ricky Maldonado. Susan Beiner will juror the show. Artists in attendance will show and sell select pieces of jewelry, glass, ceramics and wood. Among the artists are Christine Brashers (polymer clay), Michael Crook (wood), Connie Deady (glass), Denise Ford (clay), Howard Lewin (turned wood), Lana Merhaut (glass), Kevin Nguyen (clay), Marilee Nielsen (jewelry), Nikolai Ossipov (carved wood), and Zoey Williams (tile mosaics). The family of gallery namesake Millard Sheets is donating one of Sheets’ prints to be auctioned.
An exciting addition to Summer Solstice is the “street party” that takes the fun outside later in the evening. The sounds of popular local band The Ravelers will beckon guests to the dance floor on Redwood Street from 8 to 10 p.m., the perfect place for dancing under the stars while enjoying a glass of wine. For partygoers who would like to make a complete night of it, the Sheraton Suites Fairplex is offering a stay on June 19 for $89, which includes breakfast. Reservations can be made by calling (909) 622-2220.
Perhaps the most important part of Summer Solstice is whom it benefits. The Millard Sheets Gallery Foundation offers art education opportunities to local school children and the community. In keeping with its commitment to art education, the gallery invites students to participate in workshops during the L.A. County Fair and at year-round exhibitions, free of charge.
As with a number of public institutions, school districts are under budgetary constraints. As school districts tighten their funds, art programs are often the first to go. A number of local districts have had to cease or severely cut their art programs. Therefore, it behooves Fairplex to provide these children with an opportunity to learn about art.
Summer Solstice is $75 per person. Sixty dollars of that is tax deductible. Hosting opportunities are also available. For tickets and information, call (909) 865-4560 or visit www.fairplex.com.