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Downtown Art & Wine Tour Fun
updated: May 24, 2014, 2:00 PM

By the Dedicated Staff of edhat.com

Every year the Downtown Organization hosts their annual Downtown Art & Wine Tour to benefit the Holiday Parade, which as you know is where Ed loves to count santa hats. This fun annual event includes a self guided tour of various local businesses in the Downtown area with an awesome party at the end of the evening. This year the tour venues featured art galleries, jewelry stores, and favorite hot spots that are housed north of Carrillo Street with a final party at The Santa Barbara Club.

Armed with cameras, wine glasses, and a map, we hit State Street to explore the 12 listed locations. Each stop served small bites from local restaurants, tastings of local wines, and specific art displays. Our initial goal was to make it to every location before they closed, but after watching people over indulge on the tastings early on, our goal was simply to make it to the final party.

Halfway through our walk we were greeted with a surprise rainstorm. Where did that come from? A lot of participants weren't expecting the strange water from the sky we so rarely see, but it kind of added to the charm of the event. We made it as far as the Painted Cabernet with only 4 locations left before we were told to head to the final party.

Churchill Jewelers hosted Brander Vineyards with Chase Bar & Grill serving up chicken piccata.

Bella Rosa Galleries had Los Arroyos with Deep Sea Wines, a perfect pair! And check out the awesome art displays hanging from the ceiling.

Oliver & Espig is an art gallery in the La Arcada Plaza. They hosted Brasil Arts Cafe with Sanford Winery.

This next place is near and dear to edhat's heart, Santa Barbara Arts of course! The location of our annual March Edness parties was now hosting wine from Grassini Family Vineyards and very tasty guacamole explosion bites from Cielito Restaurant. PS, can you spot the edhat swag?

The Artamo Gallery on Anapamu provided nibbles from the Alchemy Cafe and tastings from Armada Wine & Beer Merchants.

The Metropolitan antique store created a nice ambiance for us to run into a loyal edhat subscriber, Scott Burns! He just so happened to be pouring tastings from his delicious wine, Windrun Vintners. State and Fig were also there with tasty treats.

The Painted Cabernet cleared out their painting tables and made room for Babcock Winery and Savoy Cafe and Deli.

Located at the Santa Barbara Club, a beautiful historic building on Chapala Street, were fully stocked rooms with more food, more wine, a silent auction, and a DJ next to a dance floor. The whole evening we were told that this was the best part of the event, and they were right. In one area you could taste from several restaurants and over 15 local wineries. A conga line formed on the dance floor at one point and Primetime himself, John Palminteri of course, was the master announcer with a microphone. Like everything else in Santa Barbara, after 10pm the fun and music must stop, or at least be a lot quieter. The crowd filed out of the building with a souvenir wine glass, selfies with Palminteri on their iPhone, and memories of a rowdy conga line.

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The Dedicated Staff feels that if there is one event locals should attend each year, the Downtown Art & Wine Tour is it.


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