By Jack Chavez, Staff Writer
The Berlin Chamber of Commerce’s Jazz and Blues, Wine and Brews festival comes back to Main Street at full strength on Saturday, a year removed from having to accommodate covid-19 restrictions to facilitate the event.
The free, eight-hour event, from 2-10 p.m., will feature two alternating stages — one for jazz and the other for blues — and six wine tents with a total of 36 different wines available to sample among them. Wine drinkers can pay $25 through Friday in advance or $30 the same day for a souvenir cup and lanyard to try any wines they please.
It’s the second year of wine tasting at the festival but the first since 2019, due to compromises in response to the pandemic, according to Berlin Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Larnet St. Amant.
“It feels great (to be back),” she said. “This town, we’ve all been very smart and taken good care and it’s time. Everybody’s ready. We have some great local families who are ready to be out. It’ll be nice to be out on the streets and not closed in. We’re all very excited.”
Burley Oak will be pouring $5 beers and Buzz Meadery and Lion Rum from St. Michael’s will also be out. The event includes vendors, photography, fine art and grab-and-go food from local restaurants.
“There are tons of great stores and restaurants to visit,” St. Amant said. “It’s a great way to explore Berlin.”
In its pre-covid days, the event could attract crowds into the thousands, St. Amant said. Crowds have proven fickle from event to event in terms of returning to former numbers around the area, but she added that she “for sure” expects at least 600-700.
St. Amant said the event is a great way to put Berlin on the map for out-of-towners.
“It brings people to the town who may have never been here. It brings them a chance to maybe not purchase that day — but come for the event and then come back later and buy,” she said.
“It draws people in. Events like this eventually bring people back to the community. They get you to come here then the event entices you to come back because there’s so much to offer. Some people end up moving here.”
Parking for Jazz and Blues, Wine and Brews is available at Stephen Decatur Park on Tripoli Street.
The schedule of musical artists includes:
- Everett Spells at 10 a.m.
- Su Jazz Band at 11 a.m.
- Bryan Russo at 12 p.m.
- S. Navy Commodores at 1 p.m.
- Lower Case Blues at 2 p.m.
- Pete Bozick and The Larks at 3 p.m.
- Anthony Rosano and the Conqueroos at 4 p.m.
This story appears in the print version of Bayside Gazette on May 5, 2022.