Alta Vista Botanical Gardens board members Naomi and Bill Stein dance to the music of a live band at the Nov. 17 event. Photo courtesy Nancy Jones
Community Vista

Novemberfest attracts nearly 600 guests to botanical gardens

On Nov. 17, hundreds of guests stopped by the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens for the fifth annual Novemberfest. The outdoor venue netted the attention of almost 600 people who enjoyed visiting a plethora of breweries, meaderies and wineries pouring their top tastings of the day.

Proceeds from the day went to benefit both the Amigos de Vista Lions Club and Alta Vista Botanical Gardens.

“We are very fortunate to have many of our local breweries in Vista, and around the North County area come in and donate kegs of beer,” said Naomi Stein, vice president of Alta Vista Botanical Gardens.

While guests tasted harvest ales and various IPAs, they also enjoyed mead, made from wine and honey, as well as wine tastings.

Spirit companies that took part in the pouring included Prohibition, Breakwater, Backstreet, Aztec, Mead Made Mod, North County Home Brewers, Booze Brothers, Black Plague, Belching Beaver, Craft Brewing, Back Street, Raging Cider, Barrel Harbor, Midnight Jack, Helia, Arcana, Wild Barrel, Twisted Horn, Golden Coast, Latitude 33, Booch Craft, Hidden Hive, Twin Oaks Valley Winery, Foot Path Winery and Lotierzo Family Vineyards.

Stein said what made the event so unique was giving visitors the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the 13-acre botanical gardens’ abundant unique layouts and themed gardens. Peppered throughout the gardens are many original artwork pieces.

“We have loads of beautiful artwork as well as wonderful water features,” she said.

Silent auction items and opportunity drawings also helped to raise funds for the Alta Vista Botanical Garden and Amigos de Vista Lions Club.

Stein thanked the sponsors for the 2018 Novemberfest, which included Aloha Printing,  Jodi & Jimmy Blakley, Classic Chariots, Sunrise Café and Off Ramp Beggars.

Nancy B. Jones, director of children’s programs at Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, as also at the event.

“What a great turnout and a chance for the community to see the progress we’ve made making this such a fantastic garden,” Jones said. “Our Alta Vista Botanical Gardens board members, committee members, and Amigos Lions put in hours of preparation, and it all paid off. Many locals visited the gardens for the first time and did plan to come back.”

Committee members for the Novemberfest included Ron Holloway, Ken Bouchard, Ed Fitzgerald, Naomi and Bill Stein, Danielle Kootchick, Dave Nichols, Michelle Walsh,  Tom Beals, Jodi and Jimmy Blakley, John Davis, Shelbi Mayo and Alex Hathaway.

Proceeds for the day are split equally between the Botanical Gardens and Amigos de Vista Lions. Stein shared that operating the Botanical Gardens can be costly.

“For instance, our water bill in August was $4,100,” she said, noting how the gardens is a nonprofit and many volunteers take care of the grounds. “We pay for everything. We have a couple of part-time employees that help maintain the gardens, but most of it is maintained by Adopt-A-Garden volunteers.

“The Alta Vista Botanical Gardens is a gem in our community,” she said. “It’s an amazing place, and we need to get it on the map.”

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