Essex Free Press - July 14, 2022

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2 I Community Essex Free Press

I Thursday, July 14, 2022

New ‘Sip and Shop’ kicks-off Fun Fest

by Garrett Fodor The Essex Fun Fest activities were kicked off on Thursday evening in a new way last week. After a more than a two-year hiatus, the Essex Fun Fest returned last Thursday evening, opening with old favourites, and a new “Sip and Shop” event, which was hosted inside the Bavarian Gardens at the festival fairgrounds. “Since it has been so long, it was easy for the [Essex

Festival] Board to let some activities go and try some new ones,” Katie McGuireBlais said, who is a member of the Festival Committee and sits on the Essex Sip and Shop Committee. “As a Board, we were trying to find ways to bring different kinds of people together, including those who might not otherwise have attended the festival. We want it to engage more with the community. We contacted some local vendors and wineries from Harrow and Colchester and that’s how ‘Sip and Shop’ happened.” McGuire-Blais noted the event happened very quickly, with the early stages beginning in February, and the planning Committee cautiously optimistic. Planning quickly ramped up in the last four-to-six weeks.

Local wines, paired with cheese and other fine snacks, were offered at the event, in addition to live entertainment, including a performance by Essex’s Adam Zanier. While being a part of the Essex Fun Fest, the event also served as a fundraiser for Autism Ontario and Community Living Essex County, with part of the proceeds from each ticket sold going to the charities, which helped to partner and sell advance tickets to the event. “I think I can say the entire Board was happy with turnout from the event,” McGuire-Blais commented. “It turned out to be a great event for everyone of age, young and old. We were extremely

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