Downtown to be crawling with wine for Third Friday

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – The downtown area along Biddle Avenue will be bustling with activity Friday night as the sixth annual Wine Crawl hits the streets.

After five years of success, 28 city businesses will participate in the Third Friday event from 5 to 9 p.m. this week.

“It’s always been a great event,” said Wine Crawl organizer Dianne Woodruff, who also co-owns Downriver Stone Design with her husband, Tom. “The people who’ve come out are not-so-young women. They do a girls night, because it’s for breast cancer. There are a lot of couples.

“There will be a map available by the clock tower. The trolley will be running and the horse and carriage will be there, as they are every Third Friday.”

Woodruff, who is also the Wyandotte Business Association’s secretary, said 2,000 glasses are sold for the Wine Crawl at $20 apiece. Half are sold by Thursday; the other half are purchased at the clock tower starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday by those unsure of the weather. Each comes with a 2010 pewter charm bearing two Swarovski crystals.

“They do represent the two charities,” Woodruff said, noting a pink crystal represents Josephine Ford Cancer Center in Brownstown Township and a blue crystal represents the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund. “Every year they order glasses and sell all the glasses.”

She said the event has raised about $50,000 over the past half decade. Woodruff also said Patrick Hand of Discount Drinks, a local distributor, arranged for a 10-case donation.

“The Wine Crawl is the big event,” Woodruff said. ‘It is a wine tasting, you don’t get a full glass. You get one ounce.”

Although the event’s core is alcohol centered, don’t expect local bars to be hot spots for the Wine Crawl.

“If you serve wine, you can’t give wine away if you sell it. It’s strictly retail businesses downtown. The businesses do purchase it,” Woodruff said. “We’re promoting Michigan wines from the Leelanau Cellars.”

For those who are not wine connoisseurs, the Beer Bash is just around the corner on Sept. 17. The band Nine is scheduled to perform at that event, which was moved up from October in hopes of meeting better weather.

“Oktoberfest in Germany is in September,” Woodruff said.

(Contact Chris Jackett at