Harvest Festival and Brew Fest Share Cape Cod Fairgrounds


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Cape Cod Fairgrounds will be the fun place to be this weekend. Both the Cape Cod Harvest Festival and the Cape Cod Brew Fest are hosting events there, and both celebrate locally grown or produced items.

Cape Cod Brew Fest

More than 60 breweries will be at the Cape Cod Brew Fest on Saturday, offering samples of 200 styles of beer, food from a dozen vendors and live music at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds on Nathan Ellis Highway (Route 151) in East Falmouth.

Last year’s brew fest attracted 900 attendees and 35 breweries. Cape Cod Beer was one of them, and Beth Marcus, Cape Cod Beer’s co-owner with husband Todd Marcus, is enthusiastic about going back. She said it was “a great event the first year and an awesome venue. The building on the fairgrounds that it is in is perfect for the event.”

An added benefit to the brew fest, Ms. Marcus said, is that “it’s fun when other breweries send brewers to this type of event; that way we get to catch up with friends in the industry. It’s a fairly tight-knit community, so seeing friends at these events from the region or even outside the region is always fun.” Cape Cod Beer, the Cape’s only micro-brewery, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in April.

Among the many breweries are Offshore Ale, Smuttynose, Newport Storm, Magic Hat, Sea Dogs, Bad Martha, Shipyard and Long Trail.

The event will have two three-hour sessions from 1 to 4 PM and from 5 to 8 PM. Tickets range in price from $15 (for designated drivers) to $55 ($65 day of the event) for general admission, to $85 ($95 day of event) for the VIP session.

Every attendee will receive unlimited sampling of the American craft style beers, a custom pint glass provided by Cisco Brewers and a goodie bag. VIP ticket holders will sample additional fare including specialty beers from select breweries and complimentary food.  

She said it was “a great event the first year and an awesome venue. The building on the fairgrounds that it is in is perfect for the event.”

Vendors will not be limited to brewers. Ms. Marcus said that Cape Cod Beer “collaborated with the Pocasset Pretzel Company to make a cool candy product that’s a handmade milk chocolate shell stuffed with crunchy pretzel bits, married to a bite-size pretzel with smooth and yummy Porter-infused ganache.”  As Claudine Wrighter, owner of Pocasset Pretzel, pointed out “Who doesn’t love beer and pretzels, and why not add some chocolate?”

Ms. Wrighter also said that Pocasset Pretzel will also be selling pretzel necklaces, a popular item at brew fests. “Between beer samples, you cleanse your palette by eating a pretzel,” she explained.

There will be other vendors, and food trucks will be on-site.

Entertainment will be provided by musical acts, The Pourmen and Steve Demers. 

Brew fest organizer Matt Gray said that the festival will be recycling all bottles, cans and cardboard.

He emphasized that the Cape Cod Brew Fest is a 21-plus event. No one under the legal age will be admitted.

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The brew fest shares the fairgrounds with the Cape Cod Harvest Festival. Anyone who purchases a ticket to the Cape Cod Brew Fest gets free entry to the Harvest Festival, Mr. Gray said. “Their festival starts earlier than our first session so people would be able to spend a few hours at the harvest fest before attending the brew fest.

“We approached the fairgrounds in the summer of 2012 about renting space for a beer festival,” he said, requesting the first weekend in October. The fairgrounds staff “asked if we would join their event and make it a bigger, better event. It was a great idea and has worked out really well,” Mr. Gray said, adding that the brew festival donates money to the scholarships that the Cape Cod Fairgrounds gives through Barnstable County Agricultural Society. It’s a “win-win” situation, he said.

Cape Cod Harvest Festival

The 19th annual Cape Cod Harvest festival celebrates “everything local,” according to its organizers, on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM each day. This family-friendly festival features local artists, crafters, food vendors, amusement rides, a petting zoo, and a horse show.

More than 70 local vendors have signed up to be a part of the festival, selling everything from jewelry to paintings to kettle corn. Many of the vendors hail from the upper and mid-Cape area.

Rockwell Amusements will provide a “kid-friendly” selection of rides, as well as traditional pony rides and hayrides run by the fairgrounds. The popular petting zoo with traditional farm animals returns to the harvest fest this year, and a special edition farmers’ market will be open on both days selling produce and food made with products grown or produced on Cape Cod.

Admission to the event is $5 for adults; children 8 and under are admitted free. Parking is free and is available in the main fairgrounds parking lot as well as the overflow auxiliary lots as needed. Proceeds from the event go to fund maintenance of the fairgrounds and to the Barnstable County Agricultural Society’s scholarship fund.

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