Kirkland Uncorked 2015 Grill Off champion Chef Quinton Stewart for 99 Park shows off his cooking. Photos courtesy of Bold Hat Productions

Kirkland Uncorked returns for 11th year

Enjoying a refreshing Riesling in the sun and helping cats and dogs in need — does that sound like the perfect combination of activities? If so, then Kirkland Uncorked is for you.

Going on its 11th year, the weekend-long festival, put on by Bold Hat Productions, runs from Friday to Sunday at Marina Park.

John Thorburn of Bold Hat Productions named Kirkland Uncorked as “the largest wine fest in the state in the summer.” More than 70 wines from both sides of the Cascades will be available for tasting.

The Kirkland Uncorked Tasting Garden is open to attendees 21 and older and will include wine tasting, live music, a Friday Burger Brawl and a Saturday Grill-Off.

For those looking to take the whole family, the Street Fair is open to all ages. Attendees can peruse all sorts of arts and crafts made by local vendors at the Uncorked Market or dream of owning a yacht at the boat and yacht show put on by the Seattle Boat Show.

CityDog Magazine will host a modeling contest for furrier attendees at the Street Fair. When you start feeling peckish, make sure to check out the selection of 12 different food truck options on Saturday, serving a wide variety of cultural foods, from Mexican to Italian to Asian.

For the fourth year in a row, the Kirkland Uncorked is benefiting the Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville, a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter.

“This region is so passionate about animals and pets, people are excited about coming to the event and drinking for a cause,” Thorburn said.

And animals are not the only cause the event will benefit.

One of this year’s new participants is Eye of the Needle, a Woodinville winery and for every bottle of the winery’s “12th Blend” sold, two meals will be donated to Northwest Harvest.

“It’s nice to sip wine and enjoy one of the best weekends of the summer from a fantastic venue,” Thorburn said.

He said that parking and traffic “won’t be impacted tremendously,” as parking will be available in the park’s parking lot, but noted that Kirkland Avenue will be closed west of Lake Street for the entirety of the weekend.

In addition, the Lakeshore Plaza parking lot will be closed from 6 a.m. on Friday until 10 p.m. on Sunday. The city’s boat launch will remain open all weekend, however boaters should expect delays and limited access at Marina Park Dock.

According to a City of Kirkland press release, more than 18,000 attendees are expected during the three-day event. Event goers are encouraged to carpool and plan for their parking in advance. For public parking, including the Kirkland Municipal Garage, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/parking. For bus transportation, go to http://tripplanner.kingcounty.gov.

General admission for the Kirkland Uncorked Tasting Garden is $25 and includes a souvenir glass and 10 tokens, as well as admission. For $15, the designated driver admission includes one-day admission and soda/water tickets. The Burger Brawl add-on is $10. To purchase tickets, visit www.kirklanduncorked.com, go to the Grape Choice in Kirkland or to Fred Meyer stores in Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond, Issaquah, Bellevue Lynnwood or Renton.

The Tasting Garden is open from 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Street Fair runs from 2-8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Marina Park is located at 25 Lakeshore Plaza Drive in Kirkland.