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Ro-Na to host craft beer fest

The Friends of Ironton, in collaboration with the Ironton Kiwanis Club and Ironton aLive, will host the Great River Craft Breer Fest at the Ro-Na on April 25 from 1 to 5 p.m.

“Craft beer has really taken off in this country,” Steve Call, president of the Kiwanis club and co-organizer of the event, said. “This is an opportunity to have some samplings of it here in Ironton.”

Several microbreweries will be featured at the fest for sampling including the Portsmouth Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company from Cleveland, the Brew Kettle of Strongsville, Jackie O’s from Athens and many more Ohio breweries as well as breweries from other surrounding states.

“We’re hoping it’s a fun event that will bring people down to Ironton for the day,” Call said. “And we hope to continue it.”

This is the first year of the event, which will include live music and light food to go along with the craft beers.

“The goal of the Friends of Ironton is to restore downtown and create more opportunities here in town,” Billy Bruce, board member with the Friends of Ironton, said. “This is one of those opportunities. Most of the proceeds will go into the Ro-Na restoration fund.”

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, but it is not likely that any will be available at the door, Call said. VIP tickets at $40 are available to get into the event an hour early along with souvenir sampling mug, a few extra beverages and an educational presentation from one of the breweries.

Tickets are available for purchase at Worth-A-Stop in Ironton, Leo’s Carry Out in South Point, the Bottle and Wedge in Huntington, Party Connection in Portsmouth, Ashland Beverage Center and Tri-State Industrial Supply in Ashland as well as on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GreatRiverBeerFest by clicking on the shop now button on the banner. More information is also on the event Facebook page.

Volunteers to work the event are currently being sought. Anyone interested in volunteering at the fest should email Bruce at hollandkat3@aol.com. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt, souvenir sampling mug and get into the event for free.

“I think it’s going to be a real successful event,” Sam Heighton, acting executive director of Ironton aLive, said. “I’m proud to be a part of putting this on and I hope it does well and becomes an annual event.”