Craft brew and wine festival to return to Niles

Two popular events are returning to Niles this summer.

On Monday, the Niles City Council approved event applications from the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce for the organization’s beer and wine festival and the separate Fourth of July fireworks display.

The Niles Craft Brew and Wine Festival, now in its third year, is scheduled to take place at 4 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Riverfront Park.

Chamber leaders plan to erect a tent where craft beer and wine will be served along with food from local vendors and music.

Approximately 650 people attended last year’s festival and 700 the year prior.

A few changes are planned for the 2016 offering, according to Chamber President Tyanna Weller. For instance, she said the festival would be on a Friday instead of a Saturday. The first event was held on Friday and attracted more people.

“Weekends are so busy, but most people can spare a Friday night,” Weller said. “We are looking at oversized beer pong as an added feature and a few other fun activities.”

Cost of entry is $15 until July 4, $20 if purchased between July 5-28 and $25 at the door. Admission includes live music, an official event glass and five tasting tickets good for 4-ounce pours of beer or 4 ounces of wine.

Tickets are available through a link on the chamber’s Facebook page.

Weller expects to have four or five brewers at the event, 25 breweries on tap and 10 wineries represented with a focus on Michigan companies.

Also, Top Secret Band will play the entire night, Weller said.

As for the fireworks display, the chamber will once again host the event beginning at dusk on Friday, July 1.

Weller said the chamber plans on adding a youth parade and bringing back church groups that will provide bounce houses and music.

Also Monday:

• The council adopted a resolution allowing the mayor to act on the city’s behalf for the purpose of continuing, or providing a notice of cancelling, the city’s current agreement with the I&M Power Company for purchasing electricity. The city’s agreement with I&M expires in 2026, but can be canceled with a notice of four years. The notice must be given prior to June 1 or the notice does not begin until the following June.

• Appointed John Tanke to the Niles Utilities Board.

• Appointed Jim Maurer to the Niles Planning Commission.

• Niles Community Schools Supt. Dan Applegate thanked the council for moving election centers out of Niles schools.

• Joe Ray, the director of public works, said the city is working with the board of directors of the Four Flags Area Apple Festival on a plan to expand the Apple Festival’s current building.

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