Groups of people strolled down Main Street while indulging in a variety of hors d’oeuvres and beverages Friday for Downtown Hays Development Corp.’s sixth annual Wines and Steins fundraiser.
The event is DHDC’s most significant of the year, as it funds a big part of the group’s year-long operations.
“We do get funded partially through the city of Hays, but the rest of our funding comes from Wines and Steins,” said Sara Bloom, DHDC executive director.
Participants were required to make reservations in advance to take part in the experience, which offered 16 stops at different downtown businesses for various food, drinks and socialization.
“For $50 you’re getting select brews, select wines, wonderful hors d’oeuvres — everything from desserts to smoked salmon,” Bloom said. “It’s an enjoyable, high-class evening in our downtown.”
Chris Hadley, Hays, attended in past years and said she was back to enjoy the socialization.
“Getting out and seeing other people in the community — it’s fun,” she said. “It brings people out that might not make it to downtown often, and gives them a chance to see the area.”
Long-standing businesses including Be Made, Simply Charmed and Gella’s Diner participated, as well as a few newer businesses to the area, including Paint the Towne, Refine and Turquoise Ranch.
“We did the taste last year, too, and we have so much fun with all the people that come through the door,” said Dax McLoughlin, Body and Soul Day Spa & Beauty Lounge owner. “We love downtown Hays.”
Participants took part in both a silent and live auction, with bid items including various gift certificates, spa treatments, tickets to athletic events and more.
“It’s for a good cause and it’s a great fundraiser for DHDC,” said Laura Ellison, Ellis.
Live music was provided by a jazz quartet who entertained guests joining in on the live auction.
“Tonight is a great, relaxed event with wonderful weather,” said Ken Windholz, Hays. “We just like to play good music to help set the mood and put people in a festive state of mind.”
“Downtown is so vital to Hays and our community,” Bloom said. “This event provides a great way for people to come out and see what I consider to be the best part of Hays.”