Strawberry & Wine Festival Draws Excitement, Controversy in Gret - WSET.com - ABC13

Strawberry & Wine Festival Draws Excitement, Controversy in Gretna

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Gretna, VA - The Gretna Strawberry & Wine Festival will have fun for all ages, including wine from six local wineries and activities for kids.

"Gretna is such a unique place. The locals are so supportive of everything that we're doing and this is really taking off, " said Chair Dianna Burkholder.

The event was put together by the Merchant's Association of Gretna, and they're expecting a large turn-out.

"I had projected maybe 150 attendees. We are already at 500 plus on Facebook so the response has been incredible, " Burkholder said, but what organizers couldn't have expected was controversy over sponsorship from Virginia Uranium.

"All the citizens in this area know I am not for uranium in any manner, " said Callands-Gretna District Supervisor Jerry Hagerman.

He says the sponsorship choice has changed his mind about attending the festival.

Some of his constituents have also voiced concerns, but Hagerman understands the Merchant Association's decision not to discriminate against the company.

"I do not think that the Merchant's Association intended to hurt anybody's feelings at all," Hagerman said.

Burkholder says Virginia Uranium is a member of the Merchant's Association and they appreciate any support that they receive. 

She hopes patrons will focus their attention on the locally-grown strawberries from Motley Farm, live music and wine - and leave the politics at home.

"This festival is all about the strawberries and the wine, and every decision we've made has been to keep it that way, " Burkholder said.

The festival will be at 100 Vaden Drive in Gretna on Saturday from 12 to 6 PM.

Organizers say most of the festivities will be set up under a large tent, so rain should not be an issue.

Admission is free, but advance tasting tickets are still on sale. Click here to buy tickets.

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