GONZALES — The inaugural Gonzales Inquirer Come and Taste It Craft Beer, Wine and Art festival was a huge success, as hundreds and hundreds of attendees came from all over Gonzales County, the state of Texas and the south to participate in the festival on the town square last week.
“I thought the festival went very well,” said Barbara Freidrich, Gonzales Main Street Coordinator. “The wine and art festival was a great success for a first-year event.
“We can only grow from here. I am very pleased how everything unfolded.”
Terry Fitzwater, publisher of the Gonzales Inquirer and Event Director, echoed Freidrich’s comments.
“I think the Craft Beer portion of the Come and Taste It festival was an overwhelming success,” Fitzwater said. “We sold out the VIP night on Friday, and we had a steady stream of attendees all day Saturday. People came from Missouri, Louisiana, Dallas, Houston, El Paso, Sealy, Bryan—all over. And everyone said they would come back next year. It will only get better, and it is a wonderful economic boon to our community. I am really happy for Gonzales.”
On Friday, a sold out Ken Stewart Trucking VIP night kicked off the weekend’s festivities, as over 170 revelers attended a night of free Shiner and Goliad Beer, Becker Vineyards wine, and a taste of some of Gonzales’ finest restaurants and eateries. They were entertained by the soothing and cool sounds of famed saxophone player O.S. Grant for two and one-half hours, as Grant entertained the throng under a perfect star-filled sky.
“I have lived in Gonzales for 21 years, and I’ve never had more fun at an event then this one,” said Mark Pravel. “This was a great event for our community and town, and I think it will help open up Gonzales to more tourism because of it.”
On Saturday, Confederate Square awoke to sunny skies and a bevvy of activity. Wineries from all over the state of Texas participated, in addition to numerous vendors selling their wares. A classic car show was also held with awesome vintage cars and trucks on display.
At 11 a.m., the Shiner Beer tent opened and hosted a steady stream of visitors all day long. At 1:30 p.m., singer/song writer Derek Vera of Seguin, Texas played his acoustic guitar for two hours. Following Vera to the David Stewart Trucking Stage was Austin recording artist Andrea Marie and the Magnolias. Andrea Marie was sponsored by Flare Energy, and her band played for two hours. During the Magnolia’s performance, a special happy birthday song surprised Jackie Wilson on her birthday. Her husband had been planning the surprise for months.
At the conclusion of the Craft Beer portion of the event, attendees flocked to the downtown restaurants and bars. The Running M, the Come and Take It and the Long Branch Saloon all were filled with customers.
“I am from the Houston area,” said William Long on Saturday night. “This is the most fun I’ve had in a long, long time. I can’t wait to come back next year. Well done Gonzales! I am going to tell all my friends about you.”