Winery’s festival threatened by zoning ordinance

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SUNBURY, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local winery says they’re being targeted by their township for a festival they host each year.

The owner says they’re headed to court the same day as the scheduled event.

The Spyglass Ridge Winery is scheduled to host their annual three-day festival this weekend, but for the first time ever, they’re being told the event violates a zoning ordinance.

The Spyglass Ridge Winery Three Beards Brewing Hot Air Balloon Festival is just days away, and owner Tom Webb says they’re faced with a last-minute challenge from Rockerfeller Township.

“Last week, we get a letter from Rockerfeller Township stating that they’re going go shut us down and change our zoning,” Webb said.

The township has changed their zoning from an agricultural to a commerical event, resulting in more fees or canceling the festival.

The event brings people from all throughout the northeast, with vendors, food, local artists and plenty of hot air balloons. All proceeds go to local non-profit organizations. Webb says this impacts way more people than those at his business.

“It’s not about Spyglass, it’s about all of the money they’re taking out of hundreds of people’s mouths,” Webb said.

Last year’s was canceled due to COVID and Webb is determined to finally have the festival back. He will appear in court Friday morning, just hours before it begins.

“The show must go on and you know we’ll keep our fingers crossed that common sense prevails,” Webb said.

Webb says worst comes to worst, they will pay the zoning fees, but they’re ready for the event to start this Friday at 5 p.m.

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