SKOWHEGAN — Main Street Skowhegan has received a tourism grant to pay for marketing for its first-ever Craft Brew Festival next month.
The Maine Office of Tourism awarded the nonprofit revitalization group $5,175 as part of its Tourism Enterprise Marketing Grants. The money is to be used to help promote the local “field-to-glass” movement using broadcast, radio and website advertising, according to a release from the tourism office. The $57,675 in Enterprise Tourism Marketing Grants is aimed at supporting tourism marketing projects that will increase visitors to the state, according to a news release from the department.
The Skowhegan Craft Brew Festival is scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, in downtown Skowhegan.
A variety of Maine craft brewers, local food vendors featuring farm-to-table fare, three live bands, guided river walks along the Kennebec and tours of the Somerset Grist Mill and of Skowhegan’s section of the Langlais Art Trail are all on tap for the event.
Twenty makers of beer, wine, spirits and hard cider will be featured — all of them from Maine, said Kristina Cannon, executive director at Main Street Skowhegan. Local producers will include Bigelow Brewery, Oak Pond Brewery and Cayford’s Orchards, all of Skowhegan; along with Younity Winery in Unity and Tree Spirits winery and distillery in Oakland.
“We were thrilled when we found out that we had received the grant,” Cannon said Monday. “We applied back in May, and I’ve been waiting with bated breath — one of my main goals for the grant is to create a video that will promote our craft brew and local food industry in Skowhegan. It will showcase the brew fest, but it will also promote our local assets here related to breweries and local food and our local culture to attract visitors from outside of the region as well.”
Promotions will be displayed locally and in the Portland and Bangor markets. The video will be produced in Portland.
Cannon said Main Street Skowhegan wanted to stay true to the Skowhegan brand by involving members of the local farmers market and Maine Grains, which is a supplier to some of the breweries in Maine. She said the plan is not only to promote local producers, but also to include breweries and others statewide.
“We’ve only invited Maine brewers,” Cannon said. “We also wanted to make sure we were promoting our farm-to-table culture in the region as well. There seems to be a lot of interest among visitors to town in our farm-to-table and agriculture movement in addition to our breweries.”
Cannon said there will be a VIP hour from 2 to 3 p.m. the day of the festival, presented by Mercer restaurant 122 Corson, which is operated by Mary and Bob Burr. They will do a cooking demonstration with food samples sourced locally. The cost of the VIP hour is $60 per person. General admission to the brew fest is $40 per person. There also is a $10 ticket for designated drivers to attend the festival and not drink.
The Maine Office of Tourism awarded grants totaling $57,675 to seven applicants in the most recent round of the Tourism Enterprise Marketing Grant program.
Other spring 2016 Enterprise Tourism Marketing Grant Award recipients are:
• Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce — $9,000 — to promote the Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit hikes to the outdoor adventure market through public relations and paid media outreach.
• Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce — $7,000 — to support off-season tourism through an integrated campaign and collaboration with local partners that builds on the success of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Gardens Aglow event.
• Bicycle Coalition of Maine — $10,000 — for development of an online “Where to Ride Guide,” a responsive website that will connect a database of planned rides, destinations and bicycle-friendly businesses.
• Maine Maritime Museum, Farnsworth Museum, Boothbay Railway Village and the Damariscotta Pumpkinfest Collaborative — $10,000 — to support an integrated fall events campaign with print, digital and broadcast to increase visits to the Midcoast region in October.
• Maine Art Museum Trail — $10,000 — to promote the arts in Maine with a reprint of the art museum trail brochures, and a printed promotional insert in The New York Times’ New England edition.
• Points North Institute/Camden International Film Festival received $6,500 to help promote Maine’s tourism “shoulder season” — May, September and October — through the destination film festival, using digital and public relations media to expand reach to non-film industry publications,
Doug Harlow — 612-2367