The Times photo by Betsy ReasonAnn Dutkiewicz of Westfield samples a beer poured by Lex Cox, who helped operate the booth for Barley Island Brewing Co. and Deer Crew Brewery, both Noblesville breweries owned by Jeff Eaton, at Noblesville Brewfest on Saturday at Forest Park.
The Times photo by Betsy Reason

Ann Dutkiewicz of Westfield samples a beer poured by Lex Cox, who helped operate the booth for Barley Island Brewing Co. and Deer Crew Brewery, both Noblesville breweries owned by Jeff Eaton, at Noblesville Brewfest on Saturday at Forest Park.

It was the perfect warm, sunny afternoon to sample beer and wine, play cornhole and support a good cause under the big, shady trees in Forest Park.

In fact, the eighth annual Noblesville Brewfest and Wine Garden on Saturday was the most successful in history, raising an estimated record $50,000 for Forest Park Aquatic Center, I was told as I exited the brewfest and chatted with organizer Greg Baker.

About 1,400 people attended this year's event, which was $40 in advance and $50 the day of the event. He said the online purchase site was busy all the way until midnight Friday and again Saturday before the event.

"We were very pleased with how it went," said Baker, a 20-plus-year member of Noblesville Adult Swim Team Inc (NASTI), which started the fundraiser in 2010, with fewer than 200 attendee and who use the pool regularly for practice. About 80 team members volunteered Saturday as pourers and other job duties.

He said the 90 F temperatures on Saturday "presented some difficulty for patrons and pourers alike. And we used nearly twice as much ice as we normally do."

Realtor Paula Hardin manned the Carpenter Realtors water station, which gave away free waters to guests all day.

A stroll around the four-hour Brewfest found lots of happy folks, making toasts with small souvenir glasses, as they sampled up to 350 different beers and more than 50 varieties of wine. Guests played games of cornhole, bid on silent auction items and dined from food trucks. They danced to music by The Doo Band, formerly Zanna Doo. And they met up with old friends and made some new ones.

For many, it was a highly anticipated day of fun and relaxation and hanging out.

But of most importance, it was a day to raise money for the aquatic center, which is open Memorial day through Labor Day and serves our community.

The aquatic center is operated by Friends of Central Pool, which carries the former namesake of the pool, and originally opened on June 18, 1931. 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.

The pool is open Memorial Day through Labor Day and serves as a facility for Noblesville Swim Club and learn-to-swim classes, Southeastern Dive Club and dive lessons, Indiana Diving Academy and Ripfest summer dive camp, and each July is the two-day venue for the Enchanted Forest swimming competition that brings in young swimmers from near and far.

Not only do our families go there to take a dip in the pool, but we bring our children there to learn how to swim, to dive into the water of the same pool where Olympic gold medalist David Boudia learned to dive, and to have fun with their friends.

Thanks everyone, including all of the sponsors, particularly Vintage Liquors and Noblesville Township Trustee's Office, the latter of which was a premier sponsor, and all of the attendees for making this event a success. I encourage the community to also purchase season passes in support of your pool. And in 2018, watch for a returning event to the pool, with Puppy Palooza in September.

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.