The sixth annual Independence Uncorked wine festival will take over the Bingham-Waggoner Estate on Saturday, projecting about 2,500 attendees, according to festival organizer Jodi Krantz.

This represents significant growth for the event, which has brought together Missouri wineries and given back to area nonprofits since it began. With fundraising profits totalling about $70,000 last year, the festival now plans to give $50,000 of this year’s earnings to the Drumm Farm Center for Children, allowing it to build an amphitheater for educational use. Along with this major beneficiary, many other charities will receive support.

“Our Rotary Club wanted to do a signature project that would raise a lot of money and bring a lot of people,” Krantz said of the festival’s original inspiration.

After outlining this goal, Krantz served as a leader in envisioning the event. She traveled to different wine festivals, assessing “what worked and what didn’t.” Ultimately, this approach led to the largest event of its kind in the state, with 15 to 24 Missouri wineries participating annually.

This year, Independence Uncorked will boast the attendance of 24 wineries and a featured distillery, Dogmaster Distillery from Columbia, Mo. According to Krantz, representatives from a winery in Potosi, Mo., will be traveling the farthest.

“I’m excited to see people having a good time and to meet people I don’t know,” Krantz said, calling new connections the best part of the event. She still remembers when a group of Japanese tourists attended and counts it among her favorite festival memories.

Krantz also enjoys the wine classes at the event, which aim to deepen attendees’ knowledge. This year, Dogmaster Distillery will be leading a class, and those interested can also hear from a cruise planner about traveling through wine country.

Along with additional wineries and classes, Independence Uncorked will incorporate a diverse mix of food, music, art and community booths. Food options include Italian and Mexican cuisine, gourmet pizzas, hamburgers and cheese and fruit plates. For a full list of wineries, as well as a schedule for live music, which spans from noon to 6 p.m., visit independenceuncorked.com.

IF YOU GO

The festival runs 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at The Bingham-Waggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific Ave. Tickets are available in advance online for $30 and at the door for $40, and include a glass, wine bag for first 2,000 people and wine tastings.