By all accounts the first Cork & Fork Festival held at the Shenkman Arts Centre on the weekend was a massive success. The combination of wine, beer and spirits with great food and live music proved to attractive to resist for the more than 1,000 people who attended the three sessions on Friday and Saturday.
|Friends Juliana and Ashlee were among the hundreds of wine and beer lovers who descended on the Shenkman Arts Centre on the weekend for the first ever Orléans Cork & Fork Festival. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
The Friday and Saturday night sessions were both sold out as area wine aficionados, craft beer enthusiasts and self-professed foodies descended on the Arts Centre for what everyone hopes will be an annual event on the local social calendar.
Julie Boileau was at the event celebrating her friend's 25th birthday with five other friends from high school.
"This is amazing. It's so nice to have everything combined – food, beer, wine. I'm so impressed," said Boileau who especially liked the fact that it was so close to home. "It was like a $5 Uber ride to get here and we've run into so many people we know. It’s literally an Orléans reunion."
Fellow Orléans resident Richard Dubois appreciated the social aspect of the festival and the opportunity it provided patrons like himself to try locally produced wines and craft beers.
"It's nice to have a local event where people can come out and get dressed up without having to go downtown. We drove five minutes to get here. There’s lots of parking and you get to see all these local vendors and try their wines... it's great," said Dubois.
Among the wineries at the festival were Domaine Perrault Winery from Navan and Vignoble Clos du Sully from Leonard.
Chateau des Charmes and Strewn Winery came all the way from Niagara and the Scheuermann Vineyard and Winery was there from Westport along with a half dozen wineries from Prince Edward County.
Among the beer vendors were the Orléans Brewing Co., Broadhead Beer and Stray Dog Brewery from Orléans along with the Clocktower Brew Pub which brews and sells their own beer out of their Orléans location at Trim and Innes.
The food was provided by Meatings BBQ Catering, OCCO Kitchen, and the Soul Stone restaurant, all of which are located in Orléans.
The musical lineup featured a number of local musicians as well who were thrilled to get the exposure playing at the festival.
Cork & Fork Festival organizer Kevin Hurtubise was both thrilled and relieved with the number of people who turned out for the event.
Organizing an event like the Cork & Fork Festival is no mean feat. Costs for rent, marketing, insurance and security can add up quickly.
And while Hurtubise was blessed with several key sponsors like Myers Orléans, All Insurance Ontario, the ReMax Hallmark Realty Group and Trillium Desjardins, the success of the festival hinged on ticket sales which were strong enough to ensure the festival will be back again next year.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)