Best turnout yet for G3’s winter festival

The streets of downtown Greenfield on Saturday night might have reminded some of days gone by with nary a place to park and people milling about as they traveled between the two venues for Greening Greater Greenfield’s (G3) fourth annual Blues, Brews & Stews Winterfest.

On Saturday, SPARK! Creative Artspace hosted Micah Kesselring and his acoustic blues. Catch 22 Sports Pub was home for the evening for the electric blues of Gary Williams and The Back Talk Blues Band.

According to G3 member Debra Crago, both venues at any given time were packed with people, and those in attendance were from all over the area, she said, with a few out-of-state attendees, too.

“I really believe we outdid our numbers” from previous years, Crago said.

Through its previous three years, the event has been held at different locations, first at the Yellow Rose Bed and Breakfast, then at the Eagles, and then at the VFW Ranch. And each year the event has grown.

As G3 member Larry Chapman wrote on G3’s website the day after the event, the move to two venues downtown was a formula “for the best BB&S ever.” He also wrote that this year’s event boasted the “largest crowd ever, greatest number of food entries,” and a crowd that “came from all over our area.”

According to G3 member Shari Royse-Bellar, this year’s well-attended event was “a lively, fun evening with a lot of people.”

The event was not just about blues music, but a variety of homemade soups, stews, and chilis. The soups and stews were at SPARK! and the chilis at Catch 22, and at each place attendees could sample the offerings and then cast their votes on their favorite.

The chili cook-off winners were: first place, Jason Cumbo with the Lions Club; second place, Sonya Curren and Scott Bitzer with the Class of ’84; and third place went to Tyler Brown. In the category of soups and stews the winners were: first place, Grace Ehlers with Y-Gradale; second place, Elaine Williams with SPARK!; and Liz Carson Murphy, Allison Knisley and Liz Fryman with the Mother’s Club took home third place.

Royse-Bellar said the evening was “very successful” and G3 members are “already planning for next year.”

All the money raised for the evening goes “right back into the community,” Crago said.

Royse-Bellar said the community organization is also planning another gardening program that will happen at the end of March or the first of April. Paddle on the Paint is slated for May this year, and the annual Oktoberfest will happen later in the fall.

For more information about G3 and its future events, go to Greening Greater Greenfield also has a Facebook page.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

Attendees sample chili entries at Catch 22 during G3’s fourth annual Blues, Brews & Stews Winterfest last weekend. sample chili entries at Catch 22 during G3’s fourth annual Blues, Brews & Stews Winterfest last weekend.
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