By CHARITY B. SMITH
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Hundreds of people headed Downtown Sept. 18 for a good time at the Wyandotte Business Association’s annual 3rd Friday Beer Fest.
The event featured beer from Michigan breweries, which was passed out by local businesses, and the music of Rockstar, an ’80s tribute band from Macomb County and Category 5, a local band that is a crowd favorite.
Allen Bachran, whose wife owns Serendipity Cakery, said the beers were selected and given to each business by the WBA, and in past years they have been able to select the beer they wanted to hand out and were reimbursed by the WBA.
“In past years I’ve bought the little kegs of the beers I selected,” Bachran said. “This is the first year we have had to use cans and bottles. I guess they had too many people with the same kinds of beer. I never had a problem though.”
WBA board member Dan Cataldo said the beer was selected to insure a variety of craft beer that is made in Michigan, rather then something from national breweries.
“Most of the businesses appreciated that we provided the beer this year, because they didn’t have to put out the expense of the beer,” Cataldo said.
People came from all over the metropolitan Detroit area to partake in the festival for a wide variety of reasons.
Sandy and Bill Ellis of Belleville came for the sole purpose of socializing their English mastiff, Mac, who weighs in at well over 200 pounds.
“The people here love dogs,” said Bill Ellis, as people flocked to pet Mac.
Others, such as Kristin Stanton, came for a date night with her husband who is a teacher.
“We came out to relax after a stressful week with pre-K students,” Stanton said.
“Screamin’” Scott Randall — WRIF-FM radio personality — broadcast live from a booth at the fest, handing out beer and selling station mugs.
Cataldo said 1,300 people purchased tickets which sold for $20 in advance and $25 at the event to participate. The ticket included tokens to get beer from the various vendors and businesses, along with a shot glass-sized mug.
“The past two years it has gotten decidedly larger,” said Cataldo of the amount of participants. “I give a lot of credit to the marketing that WRIF has given us prior to the event.”
Holly Bogard of Grosse Ile Township was not able to attend the 3rd Friday Wine Crawl in August so she said she “had” to get to the Beer Fest.
“It’s cool having a city nearby that actually has events going on,” Bogard said. “If you need something to do, you don’t have to travel far. Just go to Wyandotte.”
“It is a quality entertainment destination, and not as crowded,” said participant David Riddell of Woodhaven.
(Charity B. Smith can be reached at [email protected])