Annual Dandelion May Fest
May 3, 2024 from 12-7 and May 4, 2024 from 9-7
The Dandelion Festival will take place at The Toolshed at Breitenbach Vineyards 5773 Old Rt. 39 NW Dover.
Friday the festival is from noon-7 and Saturday it is 9-7.
Every year, the hills of Amish Country turn a delightful shade of yellow when the dandelions go into full bloom. We harvest and celebrate them annually at the Breitenbach Dandelion Festival the first weekend in May. We have family-friendly fun, food, and Dandelion Wine!
There will be wine sampling, Dandelion Sangria, cellar tours, arts and crafts and live entertainment scheduled for both days.
Vendors will be open both days, showcasing their Dandelion products for everything from soap, pottery, handmade jewelry to crafts and more. Dandelion food specialties will also be available both Friday and Saturday, such as dandelion sausage, dandelion bread, dandelion gravy, dandelion lasagna, and dandelion sangria. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a new vendor application.
On Saturday kids can participate in dandelion scavenger hunts. Saturday from 1-5 there will be cooking demos and tasting in the Tool Shed.
The Dandelion 5K and 10K Run will be on Saturday with registration and packet pick up beginning at 7am in the purple barn beside the retail store.
Mark your calendars, and don’t miss out on our biggest, most fun-filled festival of the year!
In the spirit of, “if you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well eat ‘em,” the Dandelion May Fest is held each on the grounds of Breitenbach Wine Cellars between Dover and Sugarcreek. This year’s event combined the tried and true with bold and new.
As a way to “spice” things up a bit, Breitenbach added an interesting twist with a Chopped-Style contest featuring the incredibly-edible weed — the first lady of the festival itself — the dandelion. Coordinated by Sherry Schie of Shy Cellars of Strasburg, the first Chopped Dandelion Challenge was a success.
“What an incredible new event,” Schie commented after the dishes were presented. “From the chef contestants, the chef judges, to the guests…we all enjoyed the Chopped Dandelion Challenge immensely.”
Schie noted attendees were very into the event, treating it, in some ways, like a sporting event. “What an incredible time we all had,” she said. “The audience was on the edge of their seats toward the end, rooting for their favorite chef.”
In the end, the winner was Shauna Pullie who lives near Mountaineer Casino. She is a professional home cook. She noted she had never entered a cooking contest before.
She had, in the past, made dandelion fritters. She put her skills to work and created an incredible dish in just 30 minutes using an Amish Country Donut, a cut of pork and several other ingredients.
One of the other fun components of the event is the judging of dandelion food from local food trucks. Food aficionado and local celebrity Amy Smith from WJER Radio ha the task again this year. “Judging the dandelion cook-ff was a challenge because the entries were each so unique,” Smith shared after the event that let her sink her spoon and fork into everything for ice cream to gumbo. “The vendors came up with the most creative selections I’ve seen in all my years of judging, making the decision even harder than usual.”
When the marks were tallied, it was a dish known as the Flying Dande Bruta and Dande Breight Salad from Local Motion Food Truck of Utica that took home top honors. “Their dish really stood out based on creativity, generous use of dandelions and an interesting flavor palate,” Smith explained. “The sweet balsamic reduction and apples balanced the bitterness of the dandelion greens.”
Smith also noted she was over the moon with excitement in knowing she had picked a dish from a first-time vendor at the event.
Surveying the vast parking areas of the event, it was easy to see the Dandelion May fest has followers from around the area and beyond. There were plates from Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and more than handful from Florida. Attendees raved about the wide variety of food and, of course, the dandelion aspect. “We weren’t sure what to expect but are so glad we came,” explained Gloria McCloud of Amherst. “This was a great time for us moms to just get away, enjoy some Amish Country and find that dandelions aren’t all bad after all.”
Tom Yonders of New Albany agreed. “This festival is something we have been doing for many years after stumbling upon it here at Breitenbach,” he said. “We love coming back year after year. It’s a great event and the people are friendly.”
A Dandelion Run 5K and, the newly-introduced 10K were also held to benefit the Zachary Davis Foundation, a charity near and dear to Anita Davis of Breitenbach as she started it in memory of her late son Zachary who lost his battle with addiction. “Having over 300 runners out here to take to the hills and support this cause is amazing,” Davis said. “It is humbling to see the support of the community. Fundraisers like this allow us to get the message out about drugs to local youth and offer scholarships for those who are looking to pursue a career that can impact others.”
In the 5K, top finishers included: Gavin Reed – 22:17; Kevin Hursh – 22:48; Mihai Cotlet – 23:32; Kevin Cline – 23:45; Jesse Kandel – 23:49; Owen Simpson – 23:52; Bekah Zinkon – 23:52; Daniel McLaughlin – 24:34; Cory Ferris – 24:38; Allison Hershberger – 25:52; Anthony Miller – 26:00.
10K top finishers included: Evan Heck – 44:25; Bill Long – 46:36; Cory Brinton – 49:04; Kent Snyder – 49:08; Catherine Slayman – 49:55; Delbert Yoder – 50:13; Jesse Mullet – 52:17; Megan Weaver – 53:31; Matthew Yoder – 53:34; Richard Slayman – 54:10; Mick Snider – 55:10; Ashley Newbold – 55:36; Sean Siders – 58:12; Matt Ritzert – 58:57; Wendell Yoder – 59:21.
After all the awards were handed out and runners were treated to massages, goodies and a congratulatory glass of sangria, runners relaxed for a bit. While some cooled down and went about their day, others enjoyed the festival.
“This was a challenging course, noted Wendell Yoder. “But it was a good kind of challenging and one that I think I want to tackle again.”
When it was all said and done, two days in Amish Country were filled with fun, family, friends and plenty of all things Dandelion. The fest is on for next year – the first weekend of May. For Davis and the crew at Breitenbach, the event is a labor of love that they enjoy putting together to celebrate everything about the winery with family, hope and love being at the center.