Unique event featured local products, raises funds for fair

By: 
Elizabeth Dunham, Contributing Writer

Photo by Elizabeth Dunham

Brandon Harvey, Mikey Zeroe and Rochelle Zeroe sample a variety of wines and mixed drinks at last Saturday’s Kalkaska Bcchanalia. “This was my first year attending and I was thoroughly impressed with the selection of northern Michigan beer, wine and spirits, as well as the music,” said Zeroe.

 

KALKASKA – Rainy weather did not stop the 6th annual Kalkaska Bacchanalia from drawing a crowd last Saturday night to the Civic Center on the Kalkaska County Fairgrounds. The July 20 fundraiser featured tastings of Michigan-made beer, wine, mead, liquor, food, as well as live musical entertainment.

The enthusiastic crowd included some who were attending for the first time.

“This was my first year attending,” said Rochelle Zeroe. “I was thoroughly impressed with the selection of northern Michigan beer, wine, and spirits, as well as the music.”

Tables displaying the wide variety of beverage samples lined the walls. According to fair board member Linda Gilson, there were more than 20 Michigan businesses represented in just alcoholic drink choices.

Products from seven breweries, nine wineries, two cider and mead producers, and four liquor producers were on hand for the event. Examples of local companies represented included: Right Brain Brewery of Traverse City, Short’s Brewing Company of Bellaire, Bee Well Mead & Cider of Bellaire, Iron Fish Distillery of Thompsonville, St. Ambrose of Benzie, Grand Traverse Distillery of Traverse City, and more.

“It was an amazing night!” Zeroe stated. “It was the best Kalkaska event that my husband and I have ever attended. We can’t wait for next year!”

In addition to their beverage tickets, attendees received vouchers for appetizers and treats created by local restaurants. Trout Town Cafe brought tacos featuring beef from Nev’R Done Farms and the Kal-Ho Lounge served pulled pork sandwiches and trout dip. While Sweet Shannon’s snow cones were a unique, new addition to the event, it was the sweet shop’s soft caramels that had attendees raving.

The musical line-up for this year’s event included performances by Kenny Thompson, Trending: Classic, and the Rhythm Kings.

Approximately two dozen volunteers worked together to make this year’s event possible, from planning and set-up, to pouring samples.

Fair board member Lisa Anderson coordinated the volunteers.

“Bacchanalia is a fun, local event for both attendees and the volunteers,” Anderson said. “It’s a lot of work, but we have a good time doing it, and it’s for a great cause, the Kalkaska County Agricultural Fair.”

The 2019 Kalkaska County Agricultural Fair is scheduled for Aug. 19-24. For more information, visit kalkaskacountyfaironline.com or find the event on Facebook by searching @KalkaskaCountyFair.

 

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