Maryhill Winery Concert & Picnic

Maryhill Winery Concert & Picnic

Smoked beef wraps, red wine and Carlos Santana at Maryhill Winery in WA, State. What a way to spend a Sunday!

Santana at Maryhill Winery 2017

Carlos Santana at Maryhill Winery June 25, 2017

My husband, myself and a great group of friends volunteer at Maryhill Winery to take tickets during their Summer Concert Series. We have been doing this for several years and are so lucky to have this gig! Maryhill is very generous with their volunteers giving us some great perks that make this job very enjoyable. Maryhill throws a big potluck dinner for all of us just before the start of each season where we get any new training, go over staff rules and pick up our season badges and staff t-shirts. It's quite the event as it seems most of our volunteer staff has a thing about good food and wine! Maryhill provides the wine for this event of course.

At every concert at least a few people in our group bring food items to share before the gates open and then later when everyone really gets hungry. We have had some wonderful fresh fruits and tasty watermelon salsa, even chilled cucumber soup which is really good on a hot summer's day! In the past I've made caprese kabobs, Albacore tuna sliders on homemade buns, home made blue cheese with crackers and honey, and many other fun picnic things. Last night I brought Smoked Beef Wraps.

Smoked Beef Wraps with seasoned cream cheese and spinach

Our favorite perk for volunteering at Maryhill Winery is the staff parking. If you attend concerts at all you know that getting out of any venue can be trying but some more so than others. This beautiful winery is pretty rural and getting in and out takes some time. Staff parking helps a lot with that part! Of course we also get to see every concert for free from the general admission area of the lawn. Who doesn't love a great picnic in the grass at a concert? Not too mention some great quality wine and amazing views of the Columbia River Gorge.

It's really an adventure every time we work a concert because the crowd and the weather are always different. Each musician or group has a different following and our weather ranges from 104 degrees with little to no breeze to 65 degrees, 25 mph winds with rain and hail showers. The show has always gone on rain or shine!

This week we had the 104 degrees and little to no wind kind of day so we opened the gates 30 minutes early to help get people out of the sun. Maryhill had provided plenty of ice and water and even sunscreen for staff and everything went really well.

After the gates open we have a few people who take down some low lawn chairs and blankets to stake our place on the lawn for later, while the rest of us begin scanning tickets as guests begin to enter into the venue. Then we all work together at a furious pace for the first few hours getting everyone through the gates. It can be crazy work as everyone's in a hurry to find their place on the lawn or get to the wine gardens. We help to support venue security by watching for problems and pointing them out to the right people. As always, every guest is special with their own personal story and needs, so sometimes we need to help them out, finding assistance for them at will call, security or occasionally medical assistance. It's a challenging fun fast paced couple of hours with great rewards but it's definitely not for everyone.

Usually two by two we are released as the flow of people entering the winery decreases. We make our way to the wine garden and then to our place on the lawn to enjoy the people, the sunset and the music if the concert has already begun.

It's a wonderful evening with great music, food, wine and friends!

The adventure of visiting Maryhill Winery is highly recommended.