October is a great time for festivals, especially the one scheduled this week in Fort Smith.

The 2013 Fest of Ale Fundraiser will begin at 6 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn City Center, 700 Rogers Ave. The event, which benefits Girls Inc. of Fort Smith, will please the palates of those who love to sample beer, wine and cigars, said Paula Glidewell, event chairwoman.

“We will have all kinds of different beers and ales people can sample, so it really is something for everybody,” she said. “If you always wanted to try something different with a new beer or wine but didn’t want to purchase an entire bottle, then this event is a great opportunity to educate your palate.”

Hosted by Glidewell Distributing and Burford Distributing, the event will feature samples of more than 100 beer and ales, as well as a silent auction and live music by area band Sweet and Lowdown, Glidewell said.

“Sweet and Lowdown is a great band, and they’re going to play some great music,” she said. “And with our silent auction, we have a golf package for four people at Hardscrabble Golf Course, which is a great value.”

Among the event’s beer highlights will be Prairie Ale, Evil Twin, Green Flash, Stiegl, West Coast IPA, Moylan’s, Black Walnut Wheat, Kiltlifter and Saison Dupont, Glidewell said. Food vendors will include Pink Flamingo, Papa’s Pub & Pizarria, Bob Evans, El Super Taco, Golden Corral, Holiday Inn, Miss Ellie’s Coffee and Shorty’s Tamale; food from 21 West End will be served in the VIP area.

“I know there are a lot of cigar aficionados around town, so we’ll have cigars like Rothschild Macanoodles,” Glidewell said. “People will be able to buy cigars and enjoy themselves in a smoking section that will be outside on Holiday Inn’s west side.”

Glidewell said she and other organizers are hoping to raise at least $10,000 from the event to support Girls Inc., a United Way community partner that offers various programs and activities for area girls.

“Girls Inc. is an important place for girls, and it gives the girls great opportunities,” she said. “I love Girls Inc.’s mission statement — ‘Inspiring All Girls to Be Strong, Smart and Bold.’”

Glidewell also praised Amanda Daniels, executive director for Girls Inc. of Fort Smith.

“I sure hope Amanda gets some type of award for her efforts,” she said. “Amanda has done a great job, and she’s done so much with outreach programs, like the one that had every seventh-grade girl at Kimmons Junior High involved with Girls Inc. Amanda has gone above and beyond duty.”

Event organizers are hoping the Fest of Ale draws at least 500 people, Glidewell said.

“If we have more than 500 people show up for this, then we will be even more excited,” she said. “I would love to have a full room for Fest of Ale.”

Those attending will be encouraged to dress “casual in their favorite German clothes,” Glidewell said.

“I’ll be wearing a dirndl, a German dress, and men can wear lederhosen,” she said. “It’ll be fun and casual, and it’s in October, which is great.”