By: Leigh Williams
Downtown Centralia will soon be the backdrop for a showcase of fine food, wine, crafters and artisans for the inaugural outing of Celebrate Centralia.
Centralia Director of Community Development and Planning Allison Austin, said the event is the culmination of ideas shared by the city, the Centralia Foundation and the Centralia Cultural Society to increase tourism to the city and put a spotlight on the park areas in Centralia’s downtown.
From those discussions, Celebrate Centralia was born as a “festival of art, wine and music,” featuring local artists, musicians, food vendors and award winning wineries and vineyards from the area as well as craft beer brewers.
“We have two local wineries now and we wanted to do something to bring them some attention and help them be successful,” she said.
Scheduled for 3 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 12, the event will be held at the Bell Tower Park. Broadway will be closed to traffic from Elm to Poplar Streets, according to Austin.
Those in attendance can walk through booths featuring local artists and crafters to either browse their creations or purchase their works.
“Centralia Cultural Society and Artists from around the community will display paintings, photography, sculpture and other beautifully crafted wares,” according to information from the city.
Artists and vendors scheduled to attend include:
• Steve Gramlick – Wood Carver
• Wilson’s Gourds
• The Painting Group
• Centralia Humane Society with various artwork
• On the Front Porch
• Light and Lens Group from the Cultural Society
• Palette and Brush Group from the Cultural Society
• Greenball Freight
• Sheils Studio
• Indulgence Allowed
• Glass on Fire
• Bauble Babes
Music, Austin said, will be a constant theme throughout the festival with musicians performing throughout the evening. Musicians scheduled to appear include:
• Gospel Performances
• Carlo Van Ulft – Carillon
• Tom Baker’s Mardi Gras Brass Band
• Bronze Expression Handbell Ensemble
• Little Egypt Brass Band
• Centralia Cultural Society Little Theatre Performers – Hairspray
• Stacey Kelley, Kevin Gamblin, & Jamie Nattier
The final component of the Festival of Art, Wine and Music is a variety of vendors offering award winning wines and craft beers.
Austin noted that admission to the festival is free of charge but those interested can participate in a wine tasting for $10. Participants will receive a “tasting tote” that includes a commemorative 2 oz. tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets. Wines will also be available for purchase by the glass and bottles may be purchased but are not allowed to be opened on festival grounds. In addition, a variety of craft beers will be available for tasting and some beers will be available for purchase on tap.
There will also be a special wine booth where basic information on wines will be provided. The “Wine 101” booth is hosted by a local wine aficionado.
Wineries and craft beer vendors include:
• Donnewald Distributing
• Makraft Brewing Co.
• Roundhouse Wine Company
• Pheasant Hollow Winery
• Vahling Vineyards
Food vendors will also be on hand with a variety of offerings including BBQ, fish, Mamma Antonia’s and for those with a sweet tooth, fudge and homemade ice cream from Papa Z’s.
The event will be located on Broadway between the streets of North Poplar and North Elm and surrounding the area of the Carillon. Parking attendants will be available to assist with parking and area businesses have agreed to make their spaces available.