Summer Sippin'

Rob Dragani catches up with friend James Young at the Summer Sippin’ Craft Brew Fest on Saturday, June 29, at River Park Square in downtown Plymouth.

PLYMOUTH – The weather cooperated, the beer flowed and the fourth annual Summer Sippin’ Craft Brew Fest is in the books.

And organizers are already gearing up for next year’s event.

Zach Ferree, one of the event’s organizers, said the June 29 festival at River Park Square in downtown Plymouth raised about $2,000.

But organizers are still at about the halfway point of raising the anticipated $100,000 needed to install wheelchair-accessible swings at Freedom Park, which opened in 2015.

Freedom Park is the all-inclusive playground at Packard Woods in Plymouth.

“The turnout this year was much, much better!” Ferree said via email recently. “We estimated about 400-425 paying attendees walked through the gate. This is much better than last year, almost twice as much, and encourages us for future years that the event is trending in the right direction.”

Due to inclement weather, only about 275 people attended the 2018 craft brew fest.

For the fourth annual event, organizers dropped prices for the festival.

Ferree previously said VIP tickets went down from $60 to $40, general admission prices dropped from $40 to $30 and tickets for designated drivers went from $15 to $10.

Organizers are already planning next year’s brew fest and changes are expected, Ferree said.

“Oh absolutely!” he said. “Adaptation is part of the game when you run an event. We want to make sure we maximize our profit to benefit the park, and if we have to change our dynamic or attractions to bring in more people from the community, then that is what we will do.

“Every year, you try to change the entertainment, get different beer/wine vendors, and food vendors among other things,” he continued. “We are always open to suggestions and would love to have extra bodies help plan the event for next year!”

Overall, Ferree said, organizers are pleased with the 2019 craft brew fest.

“We are very happy with how things turned out,” he said. “We heard some very receptive compliments that give us hope that this event will prosper in the future. Even with a few small miscues, things went off relatively smooth. I owe a huge amount of thank yous to all of our volunteers that helped make our event successful. And to Tiffany, my better half, who really stepped above and beyond this year to pick up my slack. This year's event wouldn't have been possible without her.”

And while organizers are still about halfway to reaching their goal of getting swings for Freedom Park, he’s still optimistic it’s an obtainable goal.

“Realistically, yes,” Ferree said. “We might have to go back to the drawing board, reopen the bid process and see if we can find something cheaper. (We) definitely need to look into more grants for the park to help us achieve our goal much more quickly. No project is too big to help the children of our community. We enjoy the challenge!”

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