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Cheers! Okanagan Fest of Ale returns indoors, welcomes thousands in Penticton

This weekend marked the 26th annual edition of the event

From Victoria to Kelowna and up to Prince George, some of the most beloved beers and ciders from across the province can be found in Penticton this weekend.

The Okanagan Fest of Ale returned indoors at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15.

Thousands of people on both days were seen at the event, taking in its 75 craft beer vendors, 13 unique food stands and live music.

Vendors who made the trip from across the province, and in some cases even Alberta, didn’t hold back in praising the Penticton-based event.

“I love this one,” said Kelsey Spannier, from Victoria-based Vancouver Island Brewing. “It’s really cool for us because we don’t get to come out here too much, so it’s one of those special ones where we can connect with people who don’t get to try our beer often.”

This weekend marks the 26th annual edition of the event.

“It’s great to see the new (Okanagan) breweries that have popped up since we were last here and the locals supporting it,” Spannier added. “So exciting.”

Although back to its roots indoors, this year’s Okanagan Fest of Ale also featured an outdoor vendor area near the intersection of Power Street and Westminster Avenue.

Event manager Sarah Taylor said before the event that she anticipates a total of 6,000 people to walk through the trade and convention centre, over the two days.

Since the event’s inception in 1996, more than $750,000 has been raised and donated back to local community initiatives.

Taylor estimates that roughly 20 per cent of the vendors in attendance are based in the Okanagan.

Okanagan Fest of Ale wraps up at 6 p.m., Saturday.

READ MORE: Penticton Farmers’ Market opens for 33rd season


About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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