Thousands expected at CWB for Uncorked Event

Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 17:38:20-05
Thousands of people are expected to be in Clearwater for the Uncorked 2016.
It's an annual food and wine festival that brings more than 5,000 people to the beach every year. 
This year people from all over the world are also expected to be in Clearwater for a sailing competition. More than 400 sailors will be competing for a spot in the Olympics in Rio. 
Traffic and parking shortages are anticipated. 
“We really enjoy coming here and we just love the town,” said Wendy Pluscht.  
Wendy Pluscht and Sharon Sedita are in town with their family from Delaware. They’ve visited Clearwater enough to know parking is generally a problem. With that in mind they said, they wouldn’t have even thought about bringing a car this weekend. 
“There is no parking and it's very expensive,” said Sedita. 
Parking garages start at minimum of $30 per day. Street parking and other lots are metered spots-- you’ll have to pay by the hour. 
The annual event typically brings in many locals who will want to drive, but city officials say that’s not a good idea. 
“This is the first year where Uncorked is falling on the weekend where we also have another big event. That’s going to make parking on clearwater beach pretty scarce,” said Jason Beisel with The City of Clearwater.  
The best advice is to find another way to get the beach, like Uber or Lyft. Another option is to use public transportation, most of which is free. 
“You can park in one of six service lots in downtown Clearwater, and parking there is free. From there you can either take the Jolly Trolly you can take the PSTA Trolly,” Beisel said. 
You can also take the Clearwater Ferry from downtown to the beach for $8 or try parking at Sand Key Park, but only 700 parking spaces will be available. 
If you choose to come, pack your patience and expect delays. 
The weekend events are good news for the local economy, bringing an estimated $1.5 million in tourism dollars. 
Here’s a full list of other transportation options:
* Sand Key Park:
Approximately 700 parking spaces are available at Sand Key Park. To get to Uncorked from this remote parking lot, attendees can take a variety of transportation options including Florida Free Rides, the SunCoast Trolley, and a ride-share service like Lyft, Uber or a taxi. Florida Free Rides is a local transportation service that runs from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m., 7 days a week. They regularly circulate the beach giving free rides. The drivers work for tips. Florida Free Rides can be scheduled by calling (727) 424-5458 or going to
* Clearwater FerryPark:
This quick 8-minute ride in an open air boat gives you a unique way to experience the water while getting to the beach without having to deal with traffic or parking. The ferry costs $8 for adults and $6 for seniors for all days passes. The ferry leaves from downtown Clearwater at the top of the hour each hour from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ex. 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m.) and from Clearwater Beach on the half hour from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
(ex. 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.). 
Ticketing, routes and more information can be found at
* Jolley Trolley:
The Jolley Trolley is a continuous-running trolley that covers downtown Clearwater, Clearwater Beach and Sand Key. Attendees can parking in any free city lot downtown near any of these stops and ride the trolley. Call 727-445-1200 or go to more information.
* PSTA Suncoast Trolley:
Patrons can park and ride the Suncoast Beach Trolley to the event. Patrons can park in the Sand Key Parking Lot and catch the Suncoast Beach Trolley on Gulf Boulevard directly in front of the park entrance.
Patrons can also park in downtown Clearwater and ride the trolley. Service operates every 20-35 minutes. Call (727) 540-1900 or click here for more information.