JACKSON, Mich. — The Ella Sharp Museum’s Art, Beer, and Wine Festival kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. Organizers are ready to bring in thousands of people to enjoy their favorite beverages and socialize.
“What more could you want than art, beer, and wine,” said Ella Sharp Museum Interim Director Valerie Herr.
Things are slightly different this year as coordinators for the festival decided to go to windowed ticket sessions for several reasons.
“One obviously is COVID, and also we know from 2019 people waited in line a really long time,” Herr said. “We don't want you to wait in line. We want you to arrive and get right in the festival so you can enjoy yourself. We’ve opened a second entrance so there’s two entrances to the festival. Our goal is by the time you hit our parking lot we want you in the festival in under 10 minutes.”
The 1 p.m. time slot is sold out but there are some tickets remaining for the 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m start times.
“Originally we thought that we might be completely sold out,” Herr said. “We were telling people to buy your tickets early. We want to make sure we sell every ticket. This is the fundraiser of the year for Ella’s art museum. We obviously didn't have it last year. We need to sell every ticket this year to help raise those needed funds for the museum so, if there are tickets available, we will still sell them.”
The money will go towards Ella Sharp Museum for a variety of things, including upkeep for the museum.
“We have six acres and eleven buildings,” Herr said. “That's a lot to maintain. Most of our buildings are historic. We put some of these funds into our buildings.”
There will be 28 beverage vendors and 14 food vendors on site, all from Michigan.
“They’re going to experience kind of the best that Michigan has to offer,” Herr said. “We have only Michigan artists, beer, and wine. So, if you’re looking for something out of state this is not the festival for you. We have amazing artists from glass to woodworking."
And some from Jackson as well. “If you are a Jacksonian you know Tiki Sam’s. They’ll be here. Junkyard Dog will be here. If you’re looking for a local brewery we have Ironbark and 127 that’s going to be here as well,” Herr said.
Organizers project 4,000 people will be at the festival which includes attendees, vendors, and staff. This will be down from 6,000 in 2019.
“We care about our guests and our vendors and our staff,” Herr said. “One of the reasons that the festival again has a different layout this year is we have limited the number of vendors but increase the space for vendors so instead of vendors being right on top of one another they will have a little bit more booth space. There's a little bit wider walking past people who don't want to be in a crowd are going to be able to kind of maneuver around the festival and not be in those large crowds. That's another reason that we did the time tickets and two entries so that people can space out when they get here we have masks for volunteers if it makes them more comfortable to wear one.”
The festival will happen rain or shine. In case of bad weather, people can take cover under several dining tents as well as the museum.
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