After attending the “King City Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival” this past Father’s Day weekend, I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Four years ago I wrote an article on this blog (here) about the yet to be constructed skate park and how once built it could be a catalyst for an annual event – the kind of event that King City has never had. Initially I had envisioned a made in King “Oktoberfest” style event, but since the fall weather is so unpredictable, we decided to move it to June on the Fathers Day Weekend. And lets face it the name “KingToberfest” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue…
Craft Beer Festival a Big Hit!
In writing about the skate park I wrote this:
“It also could be used for games and events for a “made in King City” Oktoberfest, something new that I hope will take on a life of its own. Right now its just an idea – Live music, games, barbecued Oktoberfest sausage, micro-brewers like King Brewery on display with their craft brews for sale, and a beer garden for some earnest sampling. An open fire, corn roasting, kids in Halloween costumes…and here’s an interesting hook for you long time King City residents. Once a year on this day, we’ll rename Doctors Lane, to…are you ready for this? Elmer’s Lane!
As previously mentioned, what I originally had envisioned was an “Oktoberfest” type event with craft beer sampling, good food, good music and good friends. A sort of picnic atmosphere where you can meet new people and share some good times, as well as meeting up with people you have not seen in years to reminisce on years gone by. By the way, this is where the band Elmer’s Lane ties in. Anyone who’s lived in King City long enough know’s where Elmer’s Lane is (its the original home of the King City Beer Festival…:D) and the good memories and good times associated with that place. And I know that the ambiance generated all day Saturday revived that feeling in a lot of people, including myself. I ran into people I haven’t seen in 30 years and had a blast with not only old high school friends, but grade school friends.
And the atmosphere was such that even if you’re new to King City, you and your kids will have walked away with a King City memory that will last you a lifetime, memories that will build each year, layer upon layer, and make you feel inexorably tied to this place.
That’s why we old King City residents stay here. Thats why so many of us have moved back to raise our kids here. And if this festival has in anyway made people look forward to next years event – then I think we nailed it, and that is something I feel extremely proud of and thankful for. Next year it will only get better.
Once again I find myself thanking the King City Lions for what they’ve consistently done for the last 62 years – which is to work hard at building community spirit, and in fact, building the community! Through their efforts in year long fund raising activities they cut another cheque for $10,000 that goes toward the King City Skate Park project. Our KC Lions were there all day long, assisting King Staff and hustling raffle tickets for their annual raffle.
Huge thanks go to Peter Culberston who lined up the bands and did all the sound engineering and stage set up. The 2 stage set up this year was brilliant and allowed the event to flow much better. Thanks for all your hard work and creativity Peter!
All this came together by the excellent work of our King Township Parks & Rec staff led by Chris Fasciano. I knew what I wanted, but I didn’t quite know how to get there. Like I said the first 3 years had some semblance of what I was shooting for, but this year Jon Bell, Amanda Hicks and Emma Isai nailed it by hooking into the marketing power of the Ontario Craft Brewers Association and reeling in 9 craft brewers and pairing them with 9 gourmet food trucks.
I’m told we surpassed 3,000 attendees, with an initial 750 tickets sold online up to the Friday before the event! Fantastic.
But of course, none of this could have happened without the support of all our 2014 sponsors including Yelp, the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, R.J. Burnside & Associates, The Jones Consulting Group, The Municipal Infrastructure Group, The Miller Group, Signature Communities, and of course our main stage sponsor, Zancor Homes. And thanks to all of our sponsors dating back to 2011.
All of these great sponsors recognize the need to build community spirit, and Zancor Homes in particular has played a huge part over the last few years in getting this event off the ground and on its feet to the point where it is now very close to being able to run on its own legs.
Last but certainly not least, a big thank you goes to Anna Raeli of State Farm Insurance and the whole King City Business and Community Association for putting on their Street Festival concurrently with the Craft Beer Festival.
Thank you also to Villanova College for coordinating the bouncy castle and Kids Zone, and thanks to Tom Walker and the KCSS Big Band for kicking off the days events with some great jazz tunes on Keele Street.
The King City Craft Beer & Food Truck Festival now has the DNA of a sustainable event. As a result, all of King Township’s residents can look forward to enjoying this great event for years to come.
Councillor – Ward 1
Township of King