The organizers of one new festival can’t wait to see carefully made brews merge with tasty food and equally fine music near Subiaco.
Set to be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on June 3 at the Cravens family property, 3201 to 3481 Cottontown Road, two miles north of Subiaco, the inaugural Cottontown Brews Festival will feature the sampling of craft beer from Arkansas and Missouri, as well as several food trucks, a mini-farm and craft market, live music, camping, fishing and more, said Liz Preston, one of the chairpersons for the event.
“This will feature all Arkansas crafted beer, except one from (Missouri),” she said of the 21-and-older festival, which will raise money for the Paris Farmers Market Association. “Prestonrose Farm will be there, as will Stone’s Throw, Buffalo, Lost 40 and others. We’re expecting 12 to 15 breweries to be representing themselves there.
“And we’ll have another table set up for breweries who can’t be there,” Preston said. “We’ll have volunteers there at that other table to pour beer; usually, breweries bring two, three or four different beers, so there will be a nice variety where people can enjoy everything Arkansas has to offer.”
Also giving attendees choices will be the food trucks that will be present at the festival, she said. These vendors include Truckin Delicious, Cypress Knee, Hillbilly TaterDogs and Cottontown Smokehouse, among others, Preston said.
The 21-and-older event includes the sampling of craft beer from Arkansas and Missouri, live music from area bands, several food trucks, a mini-farm and craft market, fishing, camping and more. Tickets are $38 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com, at Prestonrose Farm in Subiaco and Cottontown BBQ in Paris. Camping passes are free but must be reserved in advance at www.eventbrite.com.
Visit Cottontown Brews Festival’s Facebook page for information.
“We are allowing for 80 campsites to be reserved for free, and we’ll try to keep people posted on social media on when the campsites run out,” she said. “We expect to have 100 or 200 campers, including the brewers and vendors who stay, and we’ll have a food truck coming (June 4) to serve breakfast.”
A mini-market will present some “unique,” Arkansas-grown items, while the crafts area will be equally as impressive, Preston said.
“These will be some exciting hand-crafted items; there won’t be Avon or Tupperware here,” she said with a laugh. “The items people will see will be catered, I’m sure, to the campers and those others who attend the festival.”
Snacks will entice individuals to reach a deeper appreciation for the festival, Preston said.
“Blueberries are in this time of year, so I’m assuming we’ll have blueberries there,” she said. “We’re trying to have a baker out there for snacks, so this will be a fun, well-rounded event for all.”
Although the festival’s musical lineup is still being finalized, the from-the-stage sounds that will be heard will be varied and will add character to the proceedings, Preston said.
“We’ll have some smaller, interesting performers from around this area, with a bluesy cover band and more,” she said. “Each band will play about an hour, and there will be blues and country music.”
A pond stocked with catfish and crappie will offer a playful challenge for those who bring their fishing poles, Preston said.
“For the campsites, people can have little barbecue grills, but we’re not allowing open campfires,” she said.
Tickets are $38 and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com, as well as at Prestonrose Farm in Subiaco and Cottontown Smokehouse in Paris. Camping passes are free but must be reserved in advance at www.eventbrite.com.
Ticket sales will be limited to 400 to help ensure the festival is “enjoyable” for all involved, Preston said.
“Since this is our first year, we really aren’t guessing on how much we’ll raise,” she said. “The Farmers Market Association is a nonprofit that I formed last year and we are hoping to fund some projects.”
Among these projects are a Community Entrepreneur’s Kitchen, which will be a commercially inspected kitchen available to local individuals and groups, and a program that collects food from area farmers and others to help support food banks and area homes in need, Preston said.
“It’s exciting because the property where our festival will be located is where the Cottontown Blues Festival was held from about 1997 to 2007,” she said. “We are excited to be bringing back a festival to that property.”
Julie Hansen, one of the chairpersons for the new festival, agreed.
“I’m just excited to bring all of the craft beer from the state and a little bit out of the state to one location here; getting people to one location to try a bunch of different kinds of beer will be great,” she said.
“And the location is beautiful,” Hansen added. “When they did the Cottontown Blues Festival in the past, they built a stage, so for us to have music there and the food trucks there, in this beautiful place, will be special.”
Hansen said she hopes the Cottontown Brews Festival becomes an annual event.
For Preston, Cottontown Brews Festival will be, in her words, “the only of its kind” in Arkansas.
“You have music festivals at other places, and you have beer festivals in some places,” she said. “You also have other food truck festivals, but the Cottontown Brews Festival combines everything. There’s a lot of relevant, current events happening at our festival, and it’s in one beautiful location.”