By Traci Chapman
The first Saturday in June will bring a new event to Canadian County, as the El Reno wine & Craft Festival makes its debut at Canadian County Expo & Event Center.
The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 3 and will feature a host of vendors who will offer everything wine- and craft-related – for a start, organizer Vanessa Heird said.
“The wine and craft festivals I host are best described as a craft fair with the wineries, breweries and distilleries mixed in – plus, I try to get as many food vendors as possible, such as kettle corn, peanut brittle, olive oil, pork skins, barbeque sauce, baked goods, fudge, etc., and food trucks if possible,” she said.
Heird began hosting craft fairs in 2018 in Guthrie. As she expanded those efforts, Heird said she always wanted to expand the focus of those events – and decided the pairing of crafts and wine would be perfect.
“As a Guthrie resident, I wanted to bring back a wine festival to Guthrie – we had a wine event there for years by someone else under a different name, but then the events stopped occurring,” she said.
After a slight delay necessitated by COVID-19, Heird was finally able to realize that dream, bringing her first wine festival to Guthrie in October 2021. It was a success; the third Guthrie Wine & Craft Festival is scheduled for October of this year.
Heird has also branched out to other cities, holding wine and craft festivals in Norman, Stillwater and Chickasha – and all have become annual shows, she said.
That’s what she hopes happens in Canadian County as she prepares for her eighth wine and craft festival.
Heird’s passion for bringing people together is grounded in a deep sense of community. Married with two daughters, she works a full-time job in addition to founding Heird Events, LLC in 2019.
“It was always a dream of mine to be an event coordinator. I learned everything on my own as the years have gone by so all the knowledge I have is from experience,” she said.
Heird said the most important thing to her was to develop events that are fun for the entire family, as well as the vendors and others who participate in her festivals and who help make them so successful, she said.
“I want people to enjoy the events and want to come back every year,” Heird said. “I have also met several great vendors over the years who are a pleasure to work with and most of my vendors are repeat vendors who attend all of my events each year in different locations.”
Canadian County Expo & Event Center is located at 3001 Jensen Road East in El Reno.
For more information about the El Reno Wine & Craft Festival or Heird’s other events, go online to www.heirdevents.com or call Heird at (405) 414-7328.