Merced County Times Newspaper
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Times Photos by John Miller

Beer, wine, vintage planes — what could be better?

Residents from around the county descended on Castle Air Museum on Saturday to attend the Wine and Craft Beer Tasting Festival.

Sponsored by the Castle-Atwater Kiwanis Club and Castle Air Museum, the event invited residents to make their way into the museum grounds to stroll through the historical aircraft exhibits, and try refreshing drinks from more than a dozen local vendors.

Wineries attending the event included Cru, Quady, San Joaquin, Tsymbal, Delicato, Vista Ranch and Cellars, Cardella. They were complemented by local breweries such as Blaker, Tactical Ops, Dust Bowl, Tioga Sequoia, and St. Stans. In addition to the breweries and wineries onsite, Sweet Potato Vodka manufacturer Corbin Cash and hard-cider producer Indigeny Reserve were available to sample as well.

Once participants worked up an appetite they were able to fill their stomachs with everything from brats and linguisa to dishes prepared by Cheezy Grill, Tri Tippery, and Nancys Taco Truck. As they worked their way through their meal in the shade of some 70 aircraft on display, guests also enjoyed music from the band Two Hoots and a Holler.

The fundraising event served as a way to further Castle Air Museum’s mission “to preserve military aviation heritage for future generations.”

To learn more about Castle Air Museum, residents are encouraged to stop by the museum located at 5050 Santa Fe Drive in Atwater, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Admission to the museum is $20 for adults, $15 for youths and seniors, and children ages 6-12 are $10. Children 6 and under are free with the purchase of an adult tickets. For additional details, including group tour rates or special tours of the Presidential VC-9C Air Force One that served Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush, readers are encouraged to go online to:

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