Switzerland County tourism is honoring some of its 1900s history by declaring this month's Main Street First Friday as "Jockey Day."

The event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and include extended downtown business hours, carriage rides, live entertainment and a new wine unveiling from The Ridge Winery.

On Jockey Day, auction sales of animals, wagons and other personal property were held on Market Square, now the site of the Switzerland County Public Library. Light harness and pulling contest were held for entertainment. Much like First Friday, Vevay merchants took advantage of the crowds assembled for the events to offer bargains and to encourage shoppers to visit their establishments.

In the spirit of celebrating Vevay-Switzerland County's bicentennial this year, Vevay Main Street has selected First Friday themes that commemorate the area's heritage. The town will continue to hold bicentennial events throughout the year, with the official celebration set for Oct. 4-13.

Organizers asks those who attend First Friday to honor the Kentucky Derby or Indy 500 - two events that are scheduled this month. First Friday attendees wearing or carrying anything relating to the Derby or the Indy 500 are eligible to receive a ticket from open businesses that evening for a future raffle drawing.

Tickets deposited at the Visitors' Center before 9 p.m. will be entered in a drawing for a pair of tickets to Vevay Main Street's May 10th annual benefit fundraiser "A Flair for Wine." The drawing will take place Monday.

Sidewalk entertainment returns to the First Friday event this month and will include: Bomar & Ritter, a contemporary folk, pop and Americana group, that will be on the north side of Main Street near Swincher Law; Brittany Gillstrap, an alternative, Christian and indie rock musician, who will be on Ferry Street near the Ladies' Bazaar; and Michael Kruse, acoustic soft rock musician, on Ferry Street between the American Legion & Community Art Center.

Bicentennial Wine

Tom and Mary Jane Demaree of The Ridge Winery will present a free wine tasting of the Vevay-Switzerland County Bicentennial wine at the Switzerland County Visitors Center for the town's Main Street First Friday program.

The event will take place Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for those 21 and older.

The Visitors Center is located at 128 West Main Street in downtown Vevay.

The Demarees have produced a sweet-red grape-blend table wine in celebration of the Vevay-Switzerland County bicentennial this year.

The wine is presented in a cobalt blue bottle and features a label designed by artist Donna Weaver. 

Weaver, who is from Switzerland County, is also a sculptor-engraver who worked for the U.S. Mint. She designed and sculpted many state quarters, commemorative coins and gold medals. Having retired in 2006, she continues to participate in the Mint's Artistic Infusion program and designs for specific coinage projects.

The Ridge Winery will make a donation to the bicentennial organization from the sale of each limited production bottle.

Photographs by Kendal R. Miller of Photography by Kendal also will be displayed at the Visitors Center throughout the month of May. Miller is a fine art photographer who works in color, black and white and hand-colored images. In 2012, Miller's Garden Door piece was selected as a Lt. Governor's Hoosier Women Artist Award winner.

For more information, contact the Switzerland County Visitors Center at (812) 427-3237 or at visitsc@vevayin.com. Information can be found on their website at www.switzcotourism.com or Facebook at Switzerland County Tourism-Vevay, IN.