The first Saturday in May turned out to be eventful in Colusa after the community turned out for the annual Friends of the Library wine tasting fundraiser in Will S. Green Park.
Established on Kentucky Derby Saturday nearly two decades ago, the wine tasting event has been the Friends’ biggest fundraising event of the year, although it was canceled last year due to pandemic lockdowns.
“This would have been our 17th, but we can’t count last year,” said Cynthia White, who has been involved with the event since it was first founded. “So it’s our 16th.”
Since 2011, however, the fundraiser has been connected to a small festival called the May Surprise, after six organizations, the Pacific Flyway Quilters, the Friends of the Library, the Colusa County Arts Council, Colusa County Garden Club, the Colusa Lions Club, and the Colusa Heritage Preservation Committee combined their events into one.
This year, the Friends of the Library billed the gathering simply as a May Day Celebration, because not all the groups were able to come back this year.
The Colusa County Garden Club still had their plant sale next door in AB Davison Park, and the Arts Council offered a display of paintings by local artists and textiles.
Wines were largely served by Friends of the Library members.
Wineries included Michael David, Holly’s Hill, Berryessa Gap, Match Book, and Grindstone.
The event also did not have the usual silent auction, but was still considered an overall success because of advanced sale of tickets and generous sponsorships.
The proceeds from the wine tasting event go to support literacy.
“We buy books, we support the childrens’ programs, and anything (the library) needs that is not included in the county’s budget,” White said. “We can’t pay for any personnel time, but the county always comes up with a way to provide staff.”
While there was a time when budget cuts forced the closure of all but the Colusa Main Branch Library, White said the county has stepped up to keep its branch libraries open for public use. §