One of B.C.’s largest beer festivals is returning to its roots in the Okanagan next weekend, after a multi-year hiatus.
The 26th annual Okanagan Fest of Ale comes to the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on April 14 and 15, with close to 6,000 people expected to attend the two-day event.
Around 75 craft beer vendors from across the province will be indoors in the Peach City for the first time since before the pandemic.
“It’s going to be a jam-packed weekend filled with things to do, eat and drink,” said Sarah Taylor, Okanagan Fest of Ale’s events manager. “We’re back to our roots here and very excited to get going.”
The event was held outside at Okanagan Lake Park in 2022, amid COVID-19 concerns and indoor-capacity restrictions.
Along with the several dozens of craft beer vendors, the B.C.-wide party will feature 13 unique food stands, live music and other entertainment options.
Taylor says Fest of Ale is expanding in 2023, with an outdoor area of food, beer, cider and entertainment options also expected to be set up near the intersection of Power Street and Westminster Avenue.
“We’ve got a ton of brewers coming, from the Lower Mainland to the Island and Alberta,” Taylor said. “It’s a festival that’s really geared toward the craft beer lovers in our province.”
The Okanagan Fest of Ale donated all of its proceeds from the event back into the community. More than $750,000 has been raised for local initiatives since the festival’s inception in 1996.
“We put every dollar back into Penticton,” Taylor said. “It’s very much part of the structure, and every decision we make is based on how we can help the community.”
The event runs Friday, April 14, from 4 to 9 p.m.
Beer lovers can also satisfy their thirst Saturday, from 12 to 6 p.m.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at valleyfirsttix.com.