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20 countries represented at International Beer Festival


News Editor

Hundreds flooded the streets downtown as the 32nd annual Salisbury Festival brought spring into Salisbury with a variety of events over the weekend in its new location, including the international beer festival.

“I am real pleased with the turnout, there were a lot of people and the weather helped,” said Jeff Friuits, owner of the Irish Penny Pub and Grill, who sponsored the Beer Festival. “Overall, the attendance went down, but compared to last year, from the people I have talked to satisfaction went up.”

The Beer Festival included 23 beers from over 20 different countries and was the main event leading into Saturday evening. A number of different performances and musical acts highlighted the day; however, Bryan Russo and the Tragic Figures took over as the primetime performance during the Beer Festival.

“It was a nice day and a beautiful turnout, a lot of people wanted to come out and shake it,” said lead singer of the band Bryan Russo. “We love playing at festivals, it is (much) better than a cubicle.”For some, the International Beer festival is what persuaded them to come out and take part in the rest of the festival.

“The Beer and the Irish Penny brought me out here,” said Salisbury resident Dawn Smith. “I have been coming to the festival the past three years and it is something I mark on my calendar every year.”

Many of the other events, shops and tents closed as the International Beer Festival began, attracting many to participate in the beer tasting.

The festival, which initially began on the campus of Salisbury University in 1980, featured many different food vendors and shops, carnival rides, stands promoting locally owned organizations as well as  non-profit organizations and carnival games. With such a variety of entertainment, food and games, the carnival attracted a wide range of ages downtown.

The biggest event that kicked off the festival on Saturday was the Salisbury Fire Department’s Annual Medal’s Day Ceremony, which included five departmental unit citation awards, a Departmental Meritorious Service award, a citizen commendation award and a few others.

“It is sad how some of the shops closed early this year,” said Salisbury resident Steve Williams. “However, I like how it has expanded in the last 10 years.”

Each year the festival takes place on the final weekend in April. Next year’s festival is set to be held from April 24-26.

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