FEST SEASON BEGINS: Wine and beer flow at weekend events in Templeton

TEMPLETON  — The Templeton Park on Crocker and 5th was filled to the brim with activity May 6 and 7 during the Templeton Wine Festival, sponsored by Coastal Community Builders and produced by the Templeton Chamber of Commerce on Saturday and the Templeton Beer Festival, hosted by the Templeton Rotary Club on Sunday.
In what threatened to be a very wet weekend, both events had ticket sales that exceeded expectations and hundreds of happy participants. "I was a little nervous this morning because it looked like it was going to rain but it turned out to be a beautiful day and we've had a really great turnout!" said Templeton Rotary past president Georgia Vreeken.
Proceeds raised from the Beer Fest will go toward two very special projects that the Templeton Rotary is working on: the Viacha, Bolivia welding project which involves an orphanage training the boys to become welders so they have a marketable skill when they age out of the orphanage and the girls orphanage is preparing the girls for careers in the local hospitality industry, said Vreeken.
As for the Wine Fest on Saturday, Emily French of Le Fond Du Sac, a local boutique winery located in Tin City - who's "portable keg" was a huge hit - was thrilled with the turnout and the organization of the event as a whole. "It was really well organized," French said. "Sara and Gale from the Chamber were amazing. I already told them to sign us up for next year."
At the Beer Fest generous draught samples from more than 50 breweries were poured, guests rocked out to bluesy tunes by local legend Taylor Mac under the gazebo and played pickle ball and cornhole in the park. Besides the "beer friendly" food for sale by local vendors, Trevor LaSalle and Chris Durkin, owners of Streetside Cafe, were doling out samples of their Loaded Mac and Cheese flavored with bacon, jalapeno, smoked gouda, cheddar and parmesan. Seconds and thirds were not only allowed but encouraged.
Vendors as a whole from both events were also pleased with the crowd size and local feel. "The Paso Robles Wine Fest is great of course, but it's so big now and so many people are from out of town," French said. "The Templeton Wine Fest was more local, more intimate. For us being a such a small winery, while we love our tourists, it's the regulars we are looking for."
Along similar lines, second year participant Brian Bear from Brewbakers in Visalia said, "There are the perfect amount of people here so it's not shoulder-to-shoulder like a lot of beer fests out there."Sarah Wells of SLO Brew agreed, "It's nice, its local. Here people are genuinely interested so you get to really talk beer."
This past weekend marked the kick off of what is shaping up to be a bountiful festival season this summer. With the plethora of events to choose from whether it's wine, cider, beer, music or food the fests are an excellent way to support your local community and have a great time doing it.

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