MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The inaugural WV Chocolate, Wine & Shine Festival was held at Hazel and J.W. Ruby Community Center on Saturday, July 10, and saw more than 300 people stop by to try and buy what vendors had to offer.

The first session of the day started at noon and ran until 3:45 p.m. And then, session two ran from 5:15 until 9:00 p.m. Jamie Summerlin is the chief executive officer of Guidon Creative, which organized the event and he said the event started “very well”. He added that he was excited to see what the rest of the day had in store for everyone who stopped by.

“Wine & Shine” sign welcoming everyone to the WV Chocolate, Wine & Shine Festival

“VIPs got in here at noon, had a little premium access to some of the tastings, some premier wines and shines that were here,” Summerlin said. “And the general mission came in at 12:45. We’ve got lots of vendors in there providing lots of great food samples, beverage samples. We’ve got tons of great food and opportunities for people to just check out some great items that are being made right here in West Virginia.”

How the event worked was simple. Summerlin said people purchased their tickets in advance, or at the door and then got a chance to see, sample and buy everything being offered.

In addition to the chocolate, wine, and shine, Summerlin said, there were also vendors who were “great artists” selling the crafts and artworks. The event, also, had “great giveaways” from sponsors such as Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry.

All of the excitement surrounding the event could not be contained in West Virginia. Summerlin said there were attendees from the surrounding states who wanted a chance to mingle and have fun.

“It’s such an exciting thing to be able to showcase the good stuff we have here in the state and I’m proud to just be a part of it,” he said. “I’ve got a great team of people that are helping pull this together. I couldn’t do it without them. And this is an opportunity for us to showcase not just the beautiful things we have here in this state, but the beautiful people that we’ve got and just the friendliness and compassion we have for one another.”

Organizers are hoping to host the event again, in the near future. The next one is scheduled around Valentine’s Day, specifically on Feb. 12. It will, once again, be held at the Mylan Park Community Center.

People standing in line for a wine vendor’s booth

And then “hopefully”, Summerlin said, there will be opportunities to take the event around the state and not just have it in Morgantown. If they can pull that off, he said, then they can “be able to bring people into the state, help celebrate tourism, get people to come here and see the great things” that West Virginia has to offer.

Once they’re hooked, he said, they’ll keep coming back for “more and more”.