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Celebrity lineup set for Festival in the Park

By Dave Buchanan

Let's be serious about this: For most of the attendees at the Colorado Mountain Winefest, the trés popular Saturday "Festival in the Park" is the Winefest experience.

How can you possibly not enjoy a day at Riverbend Park, sipping Colorado's finest wines, meeting winemakers and grape growers, relaxing under the trees while listening to good music and enjoying the tasty fare?

This isn't meant to discount at all the other Winefest activities, including the many dinners with winemakers scattered around the valley, the educational and entertaining seminars and the bike tours, which offer a rarely seen glimpse into the agri-tourism side of the valley's agrarian economy.

But it's the Festival in the Park that really makes the Colorado Mountain Winefest special. This year's Festival in the Park, set for Sept. 19, will feature an afternoon of celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, thanks in great part to key sponsorship from the Viking Range Corporation.

Headed up by Viking's 13-year Executive Chef Vaugh Hobbs, the afternoon kicks off with Winefest celebrity Chef Kelly Liken of Vail. Liken owns Restaurant Kelly Liken and has been a Top Chef and Iron Chef America contestant.

Also presenting 45-minute demos will be the always popular and mucho talented Certified Executive Chef Wayne Smith, head culinary instructor at Western Colorado Community College as well as Chef Kevin Clarke, Certified Executive Chef and director of the Colorado Mountain College Culinary Apprenticeship Program.

Kelly Liken also has a special event scheduled for Sept. 17 at the DoubleTree Hotel featuring a personal cooking demo and dinner after. Ticket information for the Festival in the Park and Chef Liken's Friday demo and dinner is available at the Colorado Mountain Winefest Web site here

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