This post is sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers.

Sing it with me now, friends:

It’s the moooooost wonderful time of the year!

No, it’s not Christmas. It’s almost the first Saturday in June, which means it’s almost time for the annual Vintage Indiana Wine Festival. Vintage Indiana is where wine lovers gather in Military Park to enjoy the beautiful summer weather, and wines from 30 of Indiana’s finest wineries. You could also call it, “Heaven on Earth.”

This year’s Vintage Indiana will be my fourth, so I’ve learned a few things about how to make the most of your experience there. Today I want to share not only why this festival is awesome (Answer: wine), but how you can make your experience they very best.

Vintage Indiana

Wine is always better with friends. And wine glass lanyards.

Eat a Big Breakfast and Don’t Skip Lunch

Don’t be that person. The one that samples several different wines on an empty stomach and ends up fast asleep on the grass by 12:30. Eating a substantial meal before you go will ensure that you can enjoy the festival responsibly. There will be lots of yummy local eateries on hand at the festival, so there’s really no excuse — eat something!

Stay Hydrated

And not just with delicious Indiana wines. Hopefully we will get one of those gorgeous, sunny Indiana summer days for Vintage, but a day out the sun means you need to drink water. Wash down your big breakfast with a big glass of water, and be sure to drink some at the festival as well. Keep in mind that outside food and beverages are not allowed, so plan accordingly.

Wear Sunscreen

And apply it before you start drinking. Trust me on this one.

Bring a Lawn Chair

There’s lots of space at the festival to set up your chairs and enjoy the beautiful weather and live music from acts like Jennie DeVoe and Living Proof. I’ve even seen people bring pop up tents! Since we’re in Indiana, I would also bring a jacket and an umbrella, just in case.

Come Early

When I attended last year, there was a long line to get in. Come as early as you can, but be prepared to wait. And for heaven’s sake, be nice! Nobody loves waiting for their wine, but it is what it is. If you really hate to wait, you can purchase an Early Admission ticket for $50. You get to enter the festival early (no waiting!), and you get a special wine glass and some other goodies. There are only 1,000 of these tickets, so don’t wait.

Try New Things

I am as guilty as anyone of getting into a wine-rut. I have my favorites, and those are what I gravitate toward. Vintage Indiana is a great opportunity to try new wines. You can explore new types of wine, and new wineries. Your ticket allows you to sample anything and everything the local wineries are offering up. Worst case scenario? You don’t like something.  You’re not out any extra cash.

Don’t Be Stupid

At the risk of sounding like an after-school special, I am going to ask that you please be careful and err on the side of caution. Wine is wonderful, but it’s not more wonderful that your health or the health of someone else. Don’t drink too much, and for the love of pete, please don’t drive if you think there’s any chance you’re over the legal limit. Designated Driver tickets are only $10, and your DD gets all the free water and soda they want. You can also take advantage of a taxi (there are usually several parked near the festival), or a service like Uber.

I can’t wait to eat, drink, and be (responsibly) merry on June 6th at Military Park. Will I see you there?

Vintage Indiana 2015

Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the gate. Advance tickets can be purchased at Marsh stores or online.

Learn more about the festival from Indy Homeschool and Hoosier Party Girl