(Photo by Jill Bock, Staff)
Set for noon to 4 p.m. March 17 at Malone Park in Downtown Sikeston, the celebration includes a home brew competition, Irish jig contest and several other activities.
"We have a big crowd coming from all over to bring their home brews," said Kim Robinson, executive director of Historic Midtown Development Group Inc.
Brewers from Arkansas, Southern Illinois, St. Louis, Fredericktown and Farmington have signed up for the event, Robinson said.
Robinson said the idea for the competition came about several months ago when she was talking to a Sikeston resident who mentioned his son home brews beer. He suggested Downtown Sikeston host a home-brewing competition, and that's just what happened, Robinson said.
Currently, 25 personal entries have been received for the competition, Robinson said. Each entrant is bringing two to six varieties of beer to sample for a total of at least 60 home brewed beers to sample, she said.
"I think it's great they came up with this idea," said Jon Gilmore of Sikeston, who is entering the competition with Jeff Walton, also of Sikeston.
The friends have been home brewing beer together over the last year and a half and thought it would be fun to enter this competition, Gilmore said.
"You can do it in your kitchen -- it's like cooking a big pot of soup," Gilmore said of the home beer-brewing process.
Gilmore said he hopes the competition will open up others' eyes to all the different beers out there. There are more than the light, yellow, carbonated beers, he noted.
"There's a huge world of variety in beer. It's very similar to wine, honestly, in that there is a different beer for any kind of food you want," Gilmore said.
Depending on the variety, brewing beer can take anywhere form three weeks to three months, Gilmore said.
Caney Creek Band will perform, and 16 craft booths have confirmed space at the event. Concessions will also be available.
"Our organization is serving chili and brats," Robinson said, adding the Sikeston Eagles will be cooking food for the event, too.
Outdoor games like washers and bean bag toss will be available for play, and the celebration will be held rain or shine, Robinson said.
"There will be a best costume contest so wear green," Robinson said.
Robinson said she anticipates a high turnout.
"Everybody's just stoked about it," Robinson said. "It's going to be a blow out."
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