Night & Day — Tickets are now available for the Kenan Center’s Niagara Wine & Beer Tasting Fest taking place from 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 25 in Lockport.
With a maximum of only 1,100 tickets available, the event has reached capacity the past two years. Considering the new additions to its tasting and entertainment line-up, planners expect tickets will go fast.
The fest, which will be held at the Kenan Center Arena, 195 Beattie Ave., in Lockport, will feature more than 30 wineries, breweries—including national labels and local microbreweries — artisanal and specialty foods, and a variety of restaurants who will be serving up their savory favorites.
Proceeds of the event benefit the Kenan Center and its diverse arts, education, and recreation programs.
Co-chairs Mark Jaekle and Tom Murphy are enthusiastic about additions to this year’s event that build on positive improvements made in 2013.
“For last year’s event, we moved the admission process into the Annex area which gave attendees plenty of room to pass through admissions, check their coats, and receive their glasses,” says Jaekle. “This was so well received that we decided to look at other amenities and improvements to make the experience even better this year.”
One of those improvements will include new music by Varuna, a four-piece band performing a blend of Latin jazz, nuevo flamenco, and world music. An amenity that proved to be hugely popular, and will return in 2014, is a $5 food voucher with each admission that can be used to make purchases from a selection of restaurants. Rounding out the evening’s activities will be a basket raffle and 50/50 split.
Combining wineries and breweries together in a fundraising event is a rare occurrence. To make it work successfully, the committee sought feedback early on from members of the Niagara Wine Trail.
“Ensuring their participation is really a collaborative effort,” Jaekle says. “We really want people to move from tasting to buying the wines they enjoy.” As Jaekle explains, the more the wineries are able to sell their product, the more likely they are to continue participating as the event grows in popularity and recognition.