2020 – 1st annual Lemon Bay Beerfest…a bit too flat

Maybe fatigue is setting in, too many events, too many activities, as criticism begins to trump compliments.

We may be becoming fatigued with attending so many events and participating in so many activities because we seem to be too ready to criticize rather than compliment. Recently indulging in one of our favourite appetizers, a dozen oysters on the half shell resting on a bed of ice, the taste deserved kudos but the presentation, not so much. Our kitchen skills assessed that the shucker did an incomplete job, not freeing the oysters from their muscle anchors and not cleaning shell remnants from the oyster brine in the shell. However, the tastes overcame the flawed presentation. [ The White Elephant Bar and Grille, Beach Rd., Englewood ]

The same kind of attitude arose again when we attended the 1st annual Lemon Bay Beerfest.

The good
The entrance had food trucks flanked by lines of order-waiting patrons. This may have been an omen that more van eateries would be further along. True, along with tents offering craft breweries’ products.

A 4 piece country & western band offered venue patrons musical background to the event. Their energy and enthusiams seemed on the wane.

Wine and beer tastings were available from about a half dozen tented booths.

The really good
The best thing we experienced at the fest was the friendliness of the people. We owe that to “Fermo the great,” who’s a people magnet, attracting compliments like a yellow buttercup attracts bees. He seems to be an irresistible “pat-me-stroke-me” Scottish terrier for people simply cannot pass by him without saying something about how good he looks or stopping, bending down and patting him. 

But Tina M. B. did everyone one better. She has a ‘Scottie’ tattooed on the inside of her ankle demonstrating her family’s devotion and passion to the breed. Her four daughters have Scotties, even a wheaten coloured one which is very unique. Family tradition dictates that these Scotties all get names starting with the letter “B.’ We asked Tina to forward photos and if she does, this notation will end with a photographic update.

The bad
The event opened at 11am…too early for most people to indulge in a wine or beer. If it were a Canadian event, Tim Horton’s would have had coffee and donuts available, more welcomed by people at this hour of the day. There were too few vendors selling food, the ubiquitous hot dogs and hamburgers. These are outdoors standards which need more than just 3 vendors at a festival with the potential of a couple of thousand people.

The ugly
These kind of events are created for the pleasure, tastes and convenience of the attendees. Making them pay twice for a purchase is unjustifiable, once to purchase tickets, and then to present the needed number of tickets for the purchase. No thanks…patience for lining up twice like that is not one of our fortes. Encouraging patron sells as the famous Ringling Circus hucksters can confirm. Make it easy for people to buy and sales will increase significantly. The Beerfest people missed the Ringling lesson on selling at outdoor events.

This was the inauguration of the Lemon Bay Beerfest, so misses are expected. The presenters and vendors will learn from this inaugural launch and lessons learned should mean a better festival next year. We’ll attend if we are holidaying here again at the time of the event.

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