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home : columnists : columnists October 22, 2017


9/20/2017 4:00:00 AM
Brewfest keeps our pool open
Photo providedNoblesville Brewfest is this Saturday at Forest Park.
Photo provided

Noblesville Brewfest is this Saturday at Forest Park.

The Times photo by Betsy ReasonForest Park Aquatic Center in Noblesville (photographed here on Labor Day) will benefit from Noblesville Brewfest, which is Saturday.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Forest Park Aquatic Center in Noblesville (photographed here on Labor Day) will benefit from Noblesville Brewfest, which is Saturday.


By Betsy Reason
Editor


If you get out this weekend, consider attending Noblesville Brewfest.

The eighth annual beer- and wine-tasting festival on Saturday is the one and only fundraiser for Forest Park Aquatic Center in Noblesville.

The pool opens every summer thanks to Brewfest, which annually raises more than $40,000 for operation of the pool.

While annual pool membership fees, individual gate tickets (which were raised by $1 in 2017) and concession sales bring in money for the pool, it's the money raised at Brewfest that keeps the pool open, said Brewfest organizer Greg Baker of Noblesville.

"Without this event, the pool likely would not be a viable enterprise," Baker said. He is a 20-plus-year member of Noblesville Adult Swim Team Inc (NASTI), which started the fundraiser in 2010, with fewer than 200 attendees. Last year's event attracted about 1,500 people. This year's sales are running ahead of last year.

The aquatic center is operated by Friends of Central Pool, which carries the former namesake of the pool, which originally opened on June 18, 1931, after the City of Noblesville spent $15,000 to build the cement pool and another $2,500 to renovate the former Hamilton Chemical Co. biological laboratory building into a bathhouse. Friends of Central Pool, made up of NASTI and Noblesville Swim Club members and friends, took over operation of the pool from the City in 1997, so the pool would not close.

About 100 volunteers, including nearly 80 NASTI members, volunteer during Brewfest, which takes place outdoors in Forest Park. "That's what really makes the event go," Baker said. "It takes a lot of passionate volunteers."

Including some NASTI members who donate own trade expertise. For instance, engineer Dan Welklin puts up a fence around the Brewfest perimeter. Plumber Kurt Zigler makes a rinsing station for cups. Techie Julie Schildmyer-Heighway handles digital marketing to promote the event, which now has more than 1,700 followers on Facebook.

Baker compares the event's set up to a "circus coming to town." They start setting up at 9 a.m. the day of the Brewfest and break down by 9 p.m. '"It's a small city for 12 hours," said Baker.

Most of his fellow NASTI members are "pourers pouring beer," he said. They're also working the front gate, silent auction, coordinating food vendors and helping with setup and tear down.

On Sunday, they meet to report dollars raised, to pay off outstanding season bills, and to start talking about next year's Brewfest.

In 2016, Noblesville Township Trustees Office donated $5,000 for the event; and this year, the Trustees Office doubled the donation, with $10,000 as a premier event sponsor. In return, the Trustees received pools passes to distribute to needy families in Noblesville Township.

What else? Here are more things to know about Noblesville Brewfest, Baker said.

The Doo Band, formerly Zanna Doo, will provide entertainment. Cornhole, a popular Brewfest game, returns for faithful players.

More beer than ever will be flowing with five new breweries, 26 total brewers, plus local, regional and international brands in bottles and cans. Yes, there will be more than 300 varieties to sample. Plus more wine than ever, with more than 50 varieties to sample. Plus an array of food trucks and vendors, including kettlecorn, new this year.

Among the locals.....Blackhawk Winery will be there. And, Barley Island/Deer Creek Breweries. Also, Four Day Ray Brewery, Grand Junction, Heady Hollow Brewery, RAM Brewery, BJ's Brewhouse, Redemption Aleworks, and Sun King Brewery. And Greek's Pizza and Burritos and Beer of Noblesville.

Guests will receive free bottled water. And designated drivers will have free admission. A silent auction will give away beer swag and items from local eateries and merchants.

Baker said Brewfest is going to be bigger and better, and he hopes the community will come out and support the cause, because it's all "about the survival of the public swimming pool in Noblesville."

Brewfest admission is $40 in advance, $50 day of fest, which runs 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, with advance tickets available at the pool office, Vintage Spirits and online at http://www.forestparkpool.org/Brewfest/.







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