WATSONVILLE — The second annual Watsonville Wine, Beer and Art Walk brought droves of people to the city’s historic downtown on Saturday.
The event, which gives attendees a taste of what the Pajaro Valley has to offer in the way of wineries, craft breweries and local shops, sold out for the second consecutive year. This year, the city and the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce packed the downtown corridor with 450 event-goers — up from 300 last year.
“People had a blast,” said PV Chamber CEO Shaz Roth. “People from all over the Bay Area showed up.”
The event featured 18 stops at various businesses around downtown. Each stop featured a different tasting from a local winery or brewery, including Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co., Integrity Wines and Alfaro Vineyards.
Roth said the event will return next year.
Additional tickets and stops are a possibility, according to Watsonville’s special events coordinator Israel Tirado.
“The way it’s gone over the first two years, we see this as one of the City’s annual staple events,” Tirado said. “We’ll talk about what’s best in terms of more tickets, stops…We want [the event] to continue to grow it.”
An event-goer takes a well-earned rest on a bed at Watsonville Home Elegance during Saturday's Wine, Beer and Art Walk in the city's historic downtown. — Jazmine Ancira/Register-Pajaronian
Which is good news for business owners in downtown like Sal Orozco, who owns Foreverfly Skate. Orozco said his store was flooded with shoppers during the event’s 1-5 p.m. run, and that sales received about a 25 percent boost.
“Sales do go up on that day,” Orozco said.
Orozco, a lifelong Watsonville resident, said he recognized more faces this year than last. He also said he received several compliments about his store from first-time shoppers.
“It felt like there was a lot more people and it felt like there was a lot more Watsonville people,” Orozco said. “It’s just nice to have new people come in and see what we have to offer… People gave me a lot of compliments about the store, saying that Watsonville needs more businesses like this. As a business owner, it’s always nice to hear that.”
The event started last year as part of the city’s 150 year anniversary, and was renewed for a second go after a successful run.
Tirado said the event accomplished what it set out to do: showcase the beauty of Watsonville’s downtown.
“I think the event was fantastic,” he said. “A lot of happy people in the downtown area, which is rare. That’s what we want in the future.”
With the price of admission, guests received a wine glass, a tote bag and a passport that allowed them to sample one pour at each of the 18 locations scattered throughout downtown. Several local artists and musicians were also featured at the event, including The Ville Band.
“I had people come up to me and say, ‘we should have a band play here every Saturday,’” Roth said.
Organizers also added portable orange flags at each crosswalk to help keep event-goers safe.
“I saw some people dancing across the crosswalks with the flags,” Roth said. “I’m glad they were having fun and being safe.”
Colorful flags were placed at multiple crosswalks throughout Watsonville's downtown to improve pedestrian safety at Saturday's Wine, Beer and Art Walk. — Jazmine Ancira/Register-Pajaronian