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Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The Kenan Center is gearing up for its fifth annual Niagara Wine & Beer Tasting Fest, to be held on Jan. 30. (ENP FILE PHOTOS)


It’s post-holiday, pre-Super Bowl, and one of the coldest times of the year. Rather than waiting to break out the celebrating on St. Patty’s Day, the Kenan Center launched the Niagara Wine & Beer Tasting Fest five years ago, and it quickly became the top party/fundraiser of the New Year in Niagara County.

Tickets for the festival are $25 pre-sale and $35 at the door.
There are also $50 VIP tickets available, as well as $10
designated driver tickets.
The event returns from 5-9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Kenan Center Arena, 195 Beattie Ave. with some favorite amenities and lots of new vendors to discover.

The fifth annual event will feature more than 30 wineries, breweries, artisanal and specialty foods, and restaurants. Breweries will include newcomers 12 Gates Brewing, 42 North Brewing, and the newly opened New York Beer Project along with Big Ditch Brewing, Black Bird Cider Works, Brooklyn Brewery, Flying Bison, Resurgence, Saranac, and Woodcock Brothers. Featured wineries will be A Gust of Sun, Flight of Five, Honeymoon Trail, Long Cliff, Midnight Run, Niagara Landing, Schulze, Victorianbourg, and The Winery at Marjim Manor, and the Winery of Ellicottville. A new entry in the libations category this year is Medina–based 810 Meadworks offering a variety of their honey-based meads.

Food will be a-plenty this year, as well. Restaurants on hand will be: Zambistro, Steak, Stone & Sushi, Wagner’s, and Molinaro’s Ristorante. Specialty food vendors will be Pickle Annie’s, Sweet Melody’s, Blackman Homestead Farms, Hens Honey Bee Farm, Barker Chocolate Box, That Popcorn Shack, and Naturally Nuts. Two local eateries will also be hosting after-parties: Village Eatery Italian Bistro and Davison Road Inn.

An additional amenity this year will be overflow parking with shuttle service to and from the Lockport Board of Education Building, one block north of the Arena on Beattie Avenue. Says Co-chair Mark Jaekle, “Each year we try to make the event a little better, and providing the extra parking lot with shuttle service seemed to be the most needed addition, especially at this time of year.”

All ticket purchasers receive a souvenir glass, tasting journal, and a $5 food voucher that can be used at one of the restaurant vendors that evening. Wine by the bottle will be for sale. The festivities include live music by the Stoll Brothers, a basket raffle, and 50/50 split.

In addition to the benefits provided with regular ticket purchase, VIP patrons can enter early at 4:00 p.m., will have reserved parking, a VIP gift bag, and can purchase wine by the bottle for $1.00 off between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. VIP tickets are $50 and are limited to 100.

Regular admission $25 pre-sale and VIP tickets are available at the Kenan Center Business Office, 433 Locust St., or at the Kenan Center Arena, 195 Beattie Ave. Tickets can also be purchased online at Admission at the door will be $35. Designated drivers will be admitted for $10 at the door. Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages will be available for designated drivers. This is an adult only event open to those age 21 and over with proper ID.

Returning as co-chairs of the event are Kenan Center board members Mark Jaekle and Tom Murphy.

For more information, call 433-2617 or email


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