The Downtown Milford Business Association hosted the tenth annual Wine Trail event Saturday, Sept. 8, benefitting Milford’s United Way as the community sipped, savored and strolled their way through downtown Milford.

The popular foodie-friendly annual stroll showcased participating businesses, eateries and boutiques, offering in-store wine tastings. A variety of popular wines were served in keepsake commemorative wine glasses, and a Wine Trail map was given to partipipants. Tickets cost $45 per person.

“The Downtown Milford Business Association’s annual Wine Trail is a fun way to explore Milford’s vibrant and quaint downtown with friends and neighbors,” said Mayor Ben Blake.

“We love kicking off the fall season with this signature event,” said Tracy Bonosconi, association president. “The Wine Trail is a perfect way to celebrate the start of the new season. This is an event that everyone loves, and it truly showcases our beautiful downtown community. It brings friends together and gives businesses exposure, all while helping local Milford families in need. It’s a win-win-win.”

The association consists of 100-plus businesses located in downtown Milford and includes retail, services, and restaurants that are committed to working together to create a strong and viable downtown.

The event, which ran from 5-9 p.m., offered a peek into this thriving community while supporting the increasing needs of Milford families through United Way. Downtown Milford has enjoyed a resurgence of new shops, salons, and restaurants along with the established local favorites. Located beside the harbor, the historic downtown has been a destination boasting New England charm, long enjoyed by locals and the surrounding communities.

The United Way of Milford stated, “Today’s United Way focuses on addressing the underlying causes of community issues — why problems exist. Established in 1957, United Way of Milford directly services members of the community on all economic levels. Our funding makes up the difference between what the services cost and what the client can afford to pay. United Way of Milford’s dollars pay for services to help those who work for a living and those who cannot in hundreds of ways and also plays a vital role that tax dollars cannot.”

“This is our third year as the recipient of the proceeds of the Wine Trail event, it’s a great community event and a great partnership between the United Way of Milford and the association,” said Gary Johnson, president and CEO Milford United Way. “The stores participating and the food and wine donators — we can’t thank them enough. We were the recipients the very first year they did it.”

“This is our first year participating, we are opening our season tonight,” said Lorie Lewis, the Milford Arts Council’s Director of Marketing. “We are participating in the Wine Trail event because we are making a point of showing how the community and the arts are so connected to one another, this is a perfect community event for that.” Volunteers Gayle Caro (arts council program coordinator) and Kari Candelora concurred, “I think it’s fantastic that the MAC is participating this year. This is my second year volunteering to pour at the event, it’s a great event that brings people together and exposes them to more of what Milford has to offer,” said Candelora.

Participating Wine Trail shops on the map included Fresh Salon, Galina’s, Hawkwood Games, The Lovet Shop, Makeup Makeup, Milford Arts Council, Milford Bank, Scratch Baking, Sophie Claire’s, SV Decker, Vincent’s Jewelers and Whispers.