PULLMAN, Wash. — Gala-goers seeking the region’s finest wines, Italian cuisine and an evening out with friends can now purchase tickets to the 20th annual Winefest sponsored by the Washington State University student hospitality association Sigma Iota.

Winefest 2003 will be the Friday (Oct. 24) of Dad’s Weekend at the Gladish Community Center. There will be one session from 5-7 p.m. and another from 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Guests must be 21 years of age and older to attend.

“Winefest this year will follow some old traditions and create some new ones,” said Leah Dauer, event director and WSU junior studying hospitality business management. Spokane’s Old Spaghetti Factory chefs will work side-by-side with hospitality students in the on-campus kitchens to present the traditional Winefest feast that includes salads, main courses and desserts. All profits from ticket sales, as well as bottled wine sales, will benefit the students in Sigma Iota.

New this year will be several wineries never represented at Winefest before. Chateau St. Michelle of Stimson Lane Vineyards in Woodinville will be there, as will Willamette Valley from Oregon, and Avery Lane and Sawtooth Winery from Idaho. About two dozen regional wineries will provide wines for sampling.

Representatives from several of the wineries are also expected be on hand to describe their products and host their tables, though Sigma Iota students will pour many of the wines for guests. Students in the club are majors in the School of Hospitality Business Management in the WSU College of Business and Economics. The hospitality program was recently ranked No. 1 in career services to students and is one of the nation’s top hospitality programs.

Tickets can be reserved online at www.cbe.wsu.edu/experience/clubs/winefest/winefest2003.html or by phone at (509) 335-0130. Beginning Oct. 1, tickets can be purchased from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in Todd Hall Atrium and in the west entrance of the Compton Union Building.

For more information on Winefest, contact Healy at shelbyhe@mail.wsu.edu or (509) 335-0130.