Reds Whites & Brews fest finds new home in Steamboat
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Thursday, March 16, 2017
The Reds Whites & Brews Festival is coming to Steamboat Springs for the first time in June after spending five years in Avon.
Officially adding “in the Boat” to its name, the event will feature about 25 craft breweries and 20 wineries from across the country and globe.
From noon until 5 p.m. Saturday, June 24, beer, wine, food, and retail vendors will take over Yampa Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, including the riverside Workman Park, which opened during the summer.
There will also be live music, with the lineup to be announced in May.
For $20 (if purchased in March) beer and wine enthusiasts can try unlimited samples in their collectors tasting cups, and children, non-drinkers and designated drivers can enjoy all of the festival’s other offerings free.
It’s a perfect kickoff to Steamboat’s Fourth of July celebration, said Lee Sims, marketing director for Radiate Live Events, the festival’s host.
Sims also said it’s a perfect fit into the town’s summer schedule, which she attributed as a big part of the reason for the move.
“The Red Whites & Brews Festival comes to Steamboat at an ideal timeframe, because late June has not typically seen high occupancy rates,” said Sarah Leonard, events and sponsorship director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, in a news release.
There’s a lot of competition from other events the same weekend in the Vail Valley, Sims noted, and this gives the festival the best opportunity for growth — as well as a chance “to showcase the beautiful Yampa Street improvements and promote downtown Steamboat Springs.”
This isn’t the first festival to choose Steamboat over the Vail Valley as its new home, bringing significant economic impact.
In February, Steamboat hosted the popular WinterWonderGrass Festival for the first time, which moved after being held for four years in the Vail Valley.
When that move was announced in August 2016, the producers released a statement saying, “The challenges pointed out by the town of Avon are very real and began to chip away at our opportunity to maintain the highest level of entertainment and experience we are known to deliver.”
For Radiate Live, Sims said Steamboat has been wonderful to work with in terms of scheduling and being amenable and open to making room for new events and producers.
A partner company to Always Mountain Time, Radiate Live has been producing community events in Colorado since 2004.
In Steamboat, it has hosted the Free Family Fun Fair and the Mad Fun Run and continues to put on the Kickball Classic every August.
Sims said they wanted to add to Steamboat’s summer schedule without infringing on similar events — particularly the Steamboat Wine Festival and OktoberWest.
Radiate Live also hosts popular tasting festivals in Breckinridge and Winter Park, using the same model of affordable tickets, which give attendees unlimited tastings.
There will even be gluten free options, including ciders and a meadery (honey wine).
And, “Colorado loves craft beer,” Sims added, referring to the culture and industry that continues to see rapid growth in popularity and the number of companies, including in Steamboat, which has seen the opening of several new breweries in the past few years.
“I’m excited to now have the event in our own backyard,” said Mark Fitzgerald, one of the founders of Butcherknife Brewery, a vendor at the Reds Whites & Brews Festival for the last two years.
Celebrating their third birthday this year, February was Butcherknife’s biggest month in terms of inside market, Fitzgerald said. And, “the support from the community has allowed us to branch out and bring out brand to the rest of the state.”
Fitzgerald said the festival’s move speaks to Steamboat, Yampa Street in particular, as a “spectacular venue going forward.”
He also said it’s a chance for local breweries to introduce their beers to a larger audience and “show other breweries what a great town we are.”
Tickets start at $20 for unlimited beer and wine tastings. Prices will increase April 1. For $65, attendees can upgrade to the VIP Experience, which includes a commemorative, stemless wine glass, VIP event entrance, covered seating, all beer, wine and soda, an on-site Cicerone & Sommelier catered lunch and private restrooms. Tickets can be purchased at redswhitesandbrews.net.
Proceeds benefit the Samantha Remington Angel Heart Foundation, which assists low-income families facing massive medical bills.
Sims said the Reds Whites & Brews in the Boat Festival is looking for more local vendors, volunteers and nonprofits to participate and with whom to partner.
To get involved, or for more information, email Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org.