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Wine, beer, food festival starts up

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The fourth annual North Country Wine, Beer and Food Festival in Ogdensburg kicked off Saturday with a steady flow of enthusiasts of New York’s best foods, drink and crafts filing into a steamy Richard G. Lockwood Civic Center to sample and buy.

Mark C. Ginn, of Lisbon, did both. He tried on several handmade woven bracelets before buying one.

“I think this is a great, great thing,” Mr. Ginn said.

The Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce and the city of Ogdensburg-sponsored event winds down today from noon to 5 p.m.

Thirteen new vendors joined this year’s festival, which boasts more than 40 booth occupants. Chamber President Lori A. Smithers believes she knows why.

“We do have a lot of new vendors,” she said. “I think it’s all in the details. It’s well-organized and that’s important to the vendors.”

Palatine Valley Dairy, a family-run maker of specialty cheeses in Nelliston near Canajoharie, is making its first appearance at the festival and sales manager Brenda B. Hill needs just three words to describe how she became aware of it.

“Word of mouth,” she said, adding that Palatine makes it to about 30 wine, beer and food festivals year-round.”

“We were told it’s a really nice crowd that comes through here,” said David E. Marshall of Parsley Place Herbs, Gouverneur, another first-timer at the festival.

Even the festival’s veteran vendors are still enthusiastic about the event.

“Most definitely,” said Marie L. Cook, of C.L. Cook Farms, a festival presence since its 2009 launch. “It’s great exposure. And it allows people to learn more about community-supported agriculture. That’s important.”

Admission to the festival is $5 for adults, which includes a free wine glass, $4 for active military and free for children under age 12.

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