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Fest-of-Ale draws near

Update -- April 2

Today might be your last chance to get online tickets for the Okanagan Festival of Ale in Penticton.

Hotel packages have already sold out and tickets are selling fast for the event that runs on Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

There are still some tickets available to be bought in person at the Days Inn Penticton. Those will be available until April 5 at 2 p.m. or while quantities last.

Online ticket orders request 48 hours for processing and organizers say anyone interested should order their tickets to ensure they are received in time.

The Okanagan Fest of Ale takes place at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on Friday from 4-9 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

More information can be found on the festival website, or by calling Okanagan reservations at 1-800-663-1900

The 19th annual Fest-of-Ale is fast approaching and beer connoisseurs will have the opportunity to try over 100 different beers, ales and ciders at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

There are 30 different breweries confirmed for the event, and festival marketing chair Wayne Schmuck hopes to see even more when they open their doors on April 4-5.

“This year we have a record amount of brewers and each brewer brings at least three different varieties of beer, so there’s going to be over 100 varieties for people to pick and choose from,” he says.

“The new twist that we started last year and we’re continuing bigger and better this year is that we’ve hired professional judges for the brewery tasting. We will still have the consumer tasting awards that people can vote on their favourite beer, but now we also have professionals.”

The festival will also see three new breweries showcased this year, all out of the Lower Mainland: Bomber Brewing, Central City Brewing, and Red Truck Beer Company.

Food pairings will also be introduced for the first time with Cannery Brewing – and possible others – suggesting foods along with their flavours.

Tickets have been selling well and are available in person at the Days Inn Penticton on Riverside Drive, online, or by phone 1-800-663-1900.

“We’re about 25 per cent higher than last year," says Schmuck.

"It was a little bit of a lull and it was the first year in a number of years that we didn’t completely sell out. So we’re hoping for a sell out this year but we are nicely ahead of last year.

Hotel and ticket packages are also available for the event, and more volunteers are needed for the Saturday evening shift.

“We draw huge numbers from the north end of the valley – Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kamloops, Kelowna – and with the drinking and driving laws now, people want to be careful and all the hotels are heavily booked,” explains Schmuck.

“For a four hour volunteer shift, we give them a high end T-shirt, a free ticket into the event on their off day, and a catered dinner at the end of the event. The volunteers are very important to us and we really look after them."

This is a non-profit, charity event with 100 per cent of proceeds going directly to local charities, specifically those helping children.

And any charity from the Okanagan can apply online to become part of the event.


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