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River District Food & Brew Festival next weekend

By Staff | May 16, 2019

The Uncommon Friends Foundation will hold its first-ever River District Food & Brew Festival next weekend featuring unlimited beer samplings, as well as food and music.

Uncommon Friends Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Nelson, who also is a Cape Coral City Council member, said they are fortunate to be a wonderful community partner with Millennial Brewing Company and Amber and Kyle Cebull.

“We are so fortunate to be partners with them. They, for the last few years, have donated beer to our annual gala,” she said, adding that they provided all the water for their guests during the Erin Brockovich event they hosted. “We are so looking forward to this partnership with Millennial. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Kyle and Amber.”

Nelson said they realized that they can set up to 1,000 people under their pavilion and yard total, so they began having conversations of what it might look like to have a brew festival on the river.

“I said, ‘Why not let’s do it,'” Nelson said.

The festival will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at the historic Burroughs Home & Gardens, at 2505 First Street in Fort Myers.

“The Burroughs House is on the Caloosahatchee River. There is lots of wind off the river, so it keeps it cool,” she said.

The event is for those 21 years old and older and tickets are $30 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com under River District Food & Brew Festival.

Attendees are welcome to bring a lawn chair, or blanket to the event. There also will be onsite seating and tables. There is free parking available behind the historic Langford-Kingston home at 2500 First Street.

Live music will be provided by Steve Farst, among other performers.

Nelson said the tickets will get attendees unlimited beer tasting all day long. There will be some food vendors on site as well.

“We are hoping to showcase a lot of our local breweries. We are pretty excited about that,” she said.

The breweries include Coastal Dayz Brewing, Crazy Dingo Brewing, Eight Foot Brewing, Ankrolab Brewing, Millennial Brewing, Big Top Brewing, Bury Me Brewing, Scottys Bierwerks and Fat Point Brewing.

The proceeds from the event will go towards the Uncommon Friends Foundation mission.

“We are hoping it does well because we have never done anything like this before,” Nelson said.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation focuses on business ethics. They provide character education in Lee County schools and are looking into taking it to the college level for college students to take and pay for.

“A portion will go back towards the Uncommon Friends,” Nelson said.

The foundation also provides Uncommon Scholarships to individuals as single parents, veterans and kids coming out of high school. One scholarship Nelson takes pride in is for those seeking a certification through a trade school.

“One of the things that I have learned is that often times we don’t have a skilled workforce in our five-county region that can handle our future growth,” Nelson said for such areas as electricians, marine jobs and certified nursing assistants.

She said they love this scholarship because it gives people who do not want to go to a four-year college, or are not cut out for that route, to get a trade certification.

“We feel we are doing our part to help our region,” Nelson said.

For more information about the festival, visit www.rdfoodandbrew.com. For more information about the foundation, visit uncommonfriends.org.