Annual event draws a sellout crowd to downtown shops in a benefit for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation

It's not often you see people wandering around downtown Lake Oswego with wine glasses hanging around their necks. In fact, it only happens once a year — and what's more, it's all just fine with the LOPD and the OLCC.

Welcome to the annual LO Wine Walk, a fundraiser sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce that benefits the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation. This year's event was a sellout, sending 500 wine lovers in search of the perfect pinot noir, the crispest chardonnay, the bubbliest champagne and just about everything in between.

More than two dozen businesses offered pours throughout the downtown core, from Chocolates by Bernard on Fifth Street to clusters of shops in The Windward and Lake View Village. Every store paired the wine with tasty hors d'oeuvres — think tiny sandwiches, lots of skewers and plenty of meatballs.

At Johnstone Financial Advisors on Third Street, Love Circle provided live music. And along the way, docents from the Arts Council offered insights into Gallery Without Walls sculptures — all under the watchful eyes of alcohol monitors who made sure glasses were empty before participants wandered away.

Organizers say they were thrilled with the event. At the chamber office, Liz Hartman talked not only about the money raised for the Foundation but also about the number of participants who said the Wine Walk had introduced them to downtown shops they'd never visited before.

That was certainly true for Steve and Theresa Williams of Bellevue, Wash., who were in Vancouver for Steve's 40th high school reunion when they learned of Saturday's event.

"What a wonderful downtown area. So cute," Theresa said, "and so worth the trip. We are just so glad we did this."

— The Review

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