By Megan McNally
The annual Friend Fest beer and wine festival was successfully hosted this year by The Optimist Club of Kutztown. All proceeds benefit children’s programs in surrounding local communities.
Between snow storms, the event took place on Feb. 16 at Beltzner Hall at the Kutztown Fairgrounds. Attendees, needing to be 21 years old or older, had two time slots to choose between: 3:00–6:00 p.m. or 6:30–9:30 p.m.
There was an abundant amount of beer, wine and distillery vendors. The purchase of the $30 ticket supplied attendees with unlimited access to all beverages, a free mini glass cup for the tastings and a koozie.
Attendees had the opportunity to roam the warehouse room and taste any beverage being offered. Water pitchers were available at every station to rinse glasses and cleanse palates.
The vendors, coming from near and far, were friendly and incredibly knowledgeable about the products they were offering. Any question a taster had, the vendor had the answer to.
Along with the endless beverage stations, there were also food vendors, a silent auction, a ring toss and a cornhole station. The winner of the cornhole tournament won free personally customized cornhole boards.
The room was filled with the smiles of attendees enjoying good drinks, delicious food and even better company. There were even some KU students mingling amongst the locals.
Event coordinator, Jack Entriken, took over his role a few years back when the opportunity became available for The Optimist Club to conduct and administer the event.
Post-event, Entriken said, “We thought the event went well, most attendees seemed pleased with the atmosphere and variety that they were able to sample. The vendors thought the crowd was respectful and very interested in gaining knowledge about their products.”
The Optimist Club of Kutztown is comprised of local gentlemen working together in hopes to support the youth in the surrounding communities.
All proceeds go to The Optimist Club of Kutztown’s children’s programs in local communities, Assist a Friend, Inc. and other outside third parties in need of any financial support for those in need.
Next year, the event will be pushed back two weeks, to March 7, 2020, in hopes to avoid any chance of bad weather and in hopes to bring in even more spectators and vendors.