SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - One of Sacramento's most popular events is back after a year-long pandemic hiatus.
Visit Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork Festival kicked off with Legends of Wine held at the State Capitol on Thursday.
Drinks were flowing, music was playing and people were together. California's wine country was back in the capital city.
"This is Somoni Giusto, my great-grandpa," said Ted Ennis, owner of Lone Acre Cellars, who says growing grapes is a family tradition. "I put him on the label he planted a vineyard in 1927."
Nearly a century later, the Caldor Fire almost burned the business to the ground
Ennis said he was evacuated and finally able to return home this past Friday.
"The vineyard is still there," he said.
Ennis said he is just getting settled but nothing was going to stop him from being at the festival.
"If my house had burned down, I would have driven to Sonoma County, gotten the stash of wine I have there to come and be here tonight," he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic canceled last year's Visit Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork event—a major blow to small businesses.
"Vendors we've had in previous years have gone out of business. When there's no festivals and no events for a year and more, it's tough to survive," said Visit Sacramento CEO Mike Testa.
Testa explained Farm-to-Fork events will require proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test to keep this from ever being canceled again.
"We'll be outside with other people—live music, drinking beer and drinking wine, eating really good food. I think a lot of people are ready for that joy," he said.
Legends of Wine guest Michela Jones said it's nice to get away and feel normal.
"Being outside and the weather, it feels safe. We're grateful to be here and it's time," Jones said.
If you missed out on Legends of Wine Thursday, you can get involved in other Farm-to-Fork events, like the Tower Bridge Dinner, which you will need tickets for, and then the full festival along Capital Mall is coming up as well.
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