After 16-year run, Naperville Wine Festival canceled


After being held here for 16 consecutive years, the Naperville Wine Fest has been canceled.

The two-day festival had been scheduled for Aug. 23 and 24 at Naper Settlement, the outdoor history museum owned by the city of Naperville.

“KemperLesnik has informed us that they are no longer producing any of their wine festivals in the area. I can confirm that Naperville Wine Festival will not return this year,” Naper Settlement spokeswoman Abbey Bobzin said in an email. “Unfortunately, this is the only information I have at this time.”

Naperville Wine Festival is owned and operated by corporate public relations firm KemperLesnik.

“After four years of operating the Naperville Wine Festival, we made the strategic decision to discontinue the event,” Tom Valdiserri, executive vice president of KemperLesnik, said in an emailed statement. “We thank everyone in the Chicagoland area who made the festival a summertime staple.”

The Windy City Wine Festival held near Buckingham Fountain in Chicago was also hosted by KemperLesnik, and will not take place this year.

This would have been the 17th year the wine fest was held in Naperville. The 2018 event featured more than 250 wines and food from 15 vendors.

Naperville Wine Festival was held at Naper Settlement for its first eight years. Prior to returning to the Settlement in 2017, it had been held at CityGate Centre, on the city’s far north side.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the city of Naperville’s special events coordinator had not been notified that the fest had been canceled.

News that the fest is not happening comes just one month after Naper Settlement announced Christkindlmarket would not be returning to museum grounds this winter.

The month-long German holiday market had been held at Naper Settlement since 2016 and drew more than 200,000 people annually.

No public explanation was given as to why the deal ended one year before the three-year contract was to expire. German American Events spokeswoman Kate Bleeker in April said her company had decided it was “time for us to move on.”

The Naperville Ale Fest summer edition is still scheduled and will be held July 12 and 13 at Naper Settlement.

Twitter @erin_hegarty


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