BELLEVILLE – Belleville is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a food, drink and music festival.
The St. Patrick’s Day Beer Cider Wine Food and Music Festival is a first-time event for Belleville. The festival at the Armoury building downtown will feature food, beer and wine vendors, including beer and cider makers belonging to the new Quinte Craft Association. There will also be a bakery and performances by a local dance school, a live band and a DJ.
Jessica Sinclair, an intern in sales and marketing at Loyalist College, said the event was a collaboration between Mix97 radio host Orlena Cain and Loyalist interns. Cain also a party planner and the owner of the All Good Things Home Shop in downtown Belleville. She, Sinclair and another Loyalist intern, Alisia O’Neill, started off by sending emails to local wineries, cider-makers and breweries and trying to get people involved.
Cain “had a bar hop last year and she decided she wanted to do a beer market this year,” said Sinclair. “It was her idea, but we expanded on it a lot.”
The organizers hope to attract around 500 people, she said. Money from ticket sales will go to Gleaners Food Bank, and visitors are also being asked to being food donations for Gleaners.
There are already plans to make the festival a yearly event.
“We definitely hope to raise a lot of money for Gleaners,” said Sinclair. “We also hope to start this event as an annual celebration for Belleville – hopefully bring more people to the community and support the local businesses.”
St. Patrick’s Day “is a very social holiday for people just to meet new people and have a good time,” Sinclair said.
Barley Days Brewery of Prince Edward County is one of the participating companies. Nicolle Bially, its marketing and sales manager, said she likes doing local events and also hopes to raise awareness of Quinte Craft Association.
“We want to have more locals coming to the brewery,” said Bially. “We want all of the local people to know what we have to offer for them, instead of just being known for tourists who come visit us.”