Paella in the Park this Friday!


The annual Paella in the Park featuring the wineries of the Old Mission Peninsula takes place this Friday (August 15) at the Open Space in downtown Traverse City.

Paella in the Park cookingEach of the eight wineries is bringing a white & red wine to the event, and this year there will also be five beers from Short’s Brewing.

Paella is a rice-based dish from the Valencia region of Spain that is traditionally cooked over an open fire. Paellas feature many ingredients and spices that simmer and meld in pretty delicious ways, and there will be five different paellas prepared under the supervision of their executive chef Lauren Smaxwell. Each will feature local ingredients and are designed to pair very well with the wines:

  • Traditional with chicken, turkey, pork sausage and Spanish chorizo (pairings include Black Star Farms Arcturos Riesling or Peninsula Cellars Merlot Cabernet)
  • Seafood packed with mussels, shrimp, squid and Spanish chorizo (pairs with 2 Lads Rose of Cabernet Franc or Hawthorne Vineyards Barrel Reserve Chardonnay)
  • Game including venison, rabbit, lamb and Spanish chorizo (pairs well with Chateau Grand Traverse Ship of Fools & Bowers Harbor Vineyards Claret, Erica & Langley Vineyards)
  • Hangover featuring over-easy eggs, spicy chorizo, green peppers, chilis and potatoes (pair with Peninsula Cellars Semidry Riesling or Chateau Chantal Reserve Trio)
  • Vegetarian with farm fresh local produce (suggested pairings include Brys Estate Pinot Noir Riesling & Short’s Brewing Nicie Spicie


Paella-in-the-Park-Traverse-CityThe music will once again have a Latin flair with 10 piece Cuban Salsa Band and returning crowd favorite Grupo Ayé, fusion bluegrass from Rootstand, R&B artist Ryan Montbleau and the Spanish guitar duo Younce Guitar. They’re using a huge Tent Venue tent like last year, so it’s definitely a rain or shine affair.

Tickets are $30 and include 3 food tokens and 2 wine tokens. There’s also a VIP Package with 6 tickets, each including 3 food and 4 wine tokens per person and reserved, covered seating for 6.

Here’s Grupo Aye performing at the Jammies!