Raise a glass at the New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Raise a glass at the New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
1650427_web1_VND-LIV-WINEBEER-3
Courtesy of Jimbo Jackson
The second annual New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival is Sept. 20. The event is hosted by the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber and features beer, wine, food, and entertainment, including a performance by Jimbo Jackson (right) of Arnold and Jason Caliguiri of New Kensington.
1650427_web1_VND-LIV-WINEBEER-2
Courtesy of Alle Kiski Strong Chamber
The second annual New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival is Sept. 20. The event is hosted by the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber and features beer, wine, food and entertainment, including a belly dancer.
1650427_web1_VND-LIV-WINEBEER
Courtesy of Alle Kiski Strong Chamber
The second annual New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival is Sept. 20. The event is hosted by the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber.
1650427_web1_VND-LIV-WINEBEER-1
Courtesy of Alle Kiski Strong Chamber
The second annual New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival is Sept. 20. The event is hosted by the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber.
1650427_web1_VND-LIV-WINEBEER-4
Courtesy of Bushy Run Winery
Bushy Run Winery from Harrison Township is one of the featured businesses at the New Kensington Beer & Wine Festival on Sept. 20.

For Jimbo Jackson, it’s about giving back.

The entertainer, who lives in Arnold but was born in New Kensington, will take the stage at the second annual New Kensington Wine & Beer Festival. The event is from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 20 along Fifth Avenue.

The event is free to attend. Tasting tickets are $20.

“I am excited to be a part of this festival,” Jackson said. “It is a vital piece to the resurgence of New Kensington. This event brings a positive feeling to the community and it’s an opportunity for me to do something for a town that means so much to me.”

Vocalist and guitar player Jackson will perform from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. with Jason Caliguri of New Kensington on guitar and Derrick Edwards of Pittsburgh on electronic percussion kit on the festival’s main stage. They will feature some of Jackson’s songs, as well as other tunes people will be familiar with, he says.

Guests will hear everything from soul to rock, including what he calls music that’s a “little bit funky.’”

“When you have beer, wine, food and music, you can’t go wrong,” Jackson says.

Going for two

The festival was started last year by the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce, which formed a committee to plan the event. It was so successful organizers decided to bring it back and host it again, making it an annual happening in New Kensington, says Lynda Pozzuto, executive director of the Alle Kiski Strong Chamber of Commerce. The event is a fundraiser for the chamber.

“Support from local businesses has been phenomenal and we couldn’t produce this event without all the wonderful sponsors,” Pozzuto says. “Everyone really works well together to put on this special night.”

The evening includes Jackson’s performance as well as participation from wineries, breweries and distilleries, food trucks, street performers, crafters and other vendors.

“We will have so much going on,” Pozzuto says. “It’s a beer and wine event, but don’t forget about Jimbo Jackson’s music, as well as an area for games such as cornhole and Connect Four. It’s a family-friendly event so bring the entire family. Last year, we had a belly dancer and the kids loved her, so we’ve brought her back again this year.”

Wine time

One of the featured wineries is Bushy Run Winery in Penn Township. Its products are sold at local farmers markets in Murrysville and Monroeville and events such as this one. The company is working on purchasing a 30-acre farm near the Bushy Run Battlefield which owners hope to open in May 2020.

Co-owner of Bushy Run Winery Karen Gourdie says this festival is a popular one and she wanted to be part of it for a second year. She says it’s a fun time to sample wine, enjoy a meal and relax while listening to music. She plans to bring some cranberry, moscato and the winery’s signature lemon kiss wine, as well as others.

People can taste the vino as well as buy a bottle to take with them.

“Festivals like this one are the perfect place to introduce a selection of wines to guests,” says Gourdie, whose winery is part of the Laurel Highlands Pour Tour, a craft beer, wine, cider, mead and spirits trail through scenic Southwestern Pennsylvania.

“Last year was a great time,” says Gourdie. “They had really good attendance and people had a lot of fun.”

Beer here

This will be the first year for Conny Creek Brewing Company to participate. The Allegheny Township brewery is co-owned by Lee and Erin Layton and will celebrate its second anniversary on Oct. 21. The brewery regularly has 12-15 brews on tap.

The couple plans to bring three or four different brews for guests to try at the festival.

“We enjoy doing the tastings, because we welcome the feedback,” says Lee Layton, who also is the brewer. “It is also an opportunity to introduce our beers to people who might not have heard about us. We aren’t too far away from the festival so we might form new relationships and establish new customers.”

Details: 724-224-3400 or eventbrite.com

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.