MICHELLE T. BERNARD
More than 70 vendors, including 12 food trucks, seven breweries, 10 wineries, 30 juried artists, 15 farmer’s market vendors and 10 Earth Day activity booths will be assembled at the second annual Lincolnton Food, Wine and Brew Festival, which will be held on Saturday in downtown Lincolnton from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
The food trucks will offer a wide range of cuisine, from lobster to Irish fare to southern favorites. One of the food trucks attending, Charlotte-based “What the Fries,” specializes in loaded fries. All of the truck’s food is made from scratch, according to marketing manager Alicia Barnes. The fries are all hand-cut and the handmade tater tots are a big hit wherever they go.
“We love making everybody happy,” Barnes said. “We are excited about coming to Lincolnton.”
The farmer’s market was added to the festival this year to celebrate Earth Day and is being done in conjunction with Lincoln County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Garnet Gals is a mother/daughter team from Charlotte and will be attending for the first time. The duo makes jams and jellies from local produce and will have available at the festival several different flavors. These are not basic run-of-the-mill jams, they are unusual combinations with great flavors, like strawberry lavender and a beet marmalade, according to co-owner Megan Lambert.
“We use traditional jam-making techniques such as using lots of fresh fruit, real sugar and lemon juice,” she said. “We don’t use any artificial colors or preservatives in our jams. We are excited to be coming to the festival.”
Cougar Run is a family-run winery specializing in dry reds, dry whites and fruit wines. Typically, there are 38 different wines to select from for tastings at the winery. The winery is bringing four sweet, two dry whites and two dry reds to the festival. In addition to grapes, Cougar Run uses aother fruits such as peach, pomegranate, rhubarb, strawberry and cherry.
“We’re bringing a new strawberry rhubarb rosé on Saturday which I think will be really popular,” co-owner Tom Filkins said.
One of the breweries attending, D9 Brewing Company, is known for its sour ales at the company’s brewery in Cornelius.
“We create and produce our own yeast strain and are very science-based,” taproom and event manager Becky Bueker said. “We have our own microbiologist on staff.”
In addition to all the food, beer, wine and art, there will be an interactive fun zone with bounce houses, slides and a sumo suit station put on by All Day Entertainment. There will be a cooking demo on the main stage at 11 a.m. by Johnson and Wales graduate and Project 658 chef Joy Turner. This will be followed by a live performance from the Lincoln Theatre Guild.
Live music will be showcased on the main stage from 1-6:30 p.m. as well as a talent showcase featuring many different genres of music. A DJ will be filling in with music and announcements.
Street performers will be mainly at the courthouse steps, with some traveling throughout the festival.
Radio station 107.9, The Link, will occupy a stage located in the middle of the festival.
“To highlight our local merchants we will feature several ‘Gateway to Retail’ entrances that encourage traffic to our local storefronts,” Downtown Development Association event coordinator Erika Thompson said. “It’s our desire to not only have a fun event for visitors but to also share our fantastic hometown shopping, business and dining options. We already have several out-of-state ticket purchases and many regional purchases. It will be exciting to bring tourism to our community through the Lincolnton Food Wine and Brew Fest.”
The event is free to the public. Wine and beer tasting passes are $15 in advance, $20 the day of the event and can be purchased on-line at http://www.lincolntonfoodwinebrewfest.com. The event will be held rain or shine.
Each tasting pass will include a commemorative tote bag with a stemless wine glass.
For more information on the event, email Thompson at email@example.com or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lincolntonfoodwinebrewfest/.