WALLA WALLA, Wash. — A new event coming to downtown Walla Walla early next year will satisfy those with a craving for craft beer.
A BrewFest was announced recently through social media by the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation. Slated for February, the festival will station more than two dozen breweries in downtown businesses and restaurants, drawing 21-and-older festivalgoers to taste as they meander through local shops.
The timing with Walla Walla’s general decline in visitor traffic during the early months of the year coupled with Visit Walla Walla’s February is for Foodies initiative that showcases local dining and chefs with prix fixe menus is expected to increase traffic downtown, said foundation board President Paul Schneidmiller.
It also highlights local and regional breweries in the process.
“We certainly hope this is a very good inaugural event because we would like to grow this to an annual one,” Schneidmiller said.
The concept is intended to serve as an economic engine through the foundation, whose mission is to promote the history, culture and commerce of downtown — in part — through events.
The $40 tickets go on sale Dec. 6 through the foundation website (downtownwallawalla.com).
Fine details are being formalized, and the agency expects to announce them in December, foundation Events and Public Relations Manager Cindy Frost said.
In the meantime, Schneidmiller said, 15 businesses and 30 breweries have signed up to participate. A title sponsor has also been secured.
He said credit for the idea goes to Frost, who saw beer festivals taking place in other communities, attended three, and pitched the idea to Executive Director Bonnie Bowton.
“The whole reason was let’s increase traffic for downtown merchants during an off-season and maybe (enhance) February for Foodies at the same time,” Schneidmiller said.
The new event comes to the foundation after taking over operation of the Walla Walla Sweet Onion Festival in July, a record Wheelin’ Walla Walla Weekend and a year’s break from food festival Feast Walla Walla.
Frost said the announcement on social media, in the form of a Facebook event, was designed to draw interest in what’s coming. As of this morning, the event had 800 responses of interest or planned attendance.