ESCANABA - This weekend marks Escanaba's eighth annual UPtoberfest, an event that raises money for the United Way of Delta County.
UPtoberfest, which is organized by the Bay de Noc Brewers, takes place Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m. behind Hereford & Hops.
The event is open to anyone ages 21 or older.
According to Julie Mallard, executive director for the United Way of Delta County, tickets for the event can be purchased for $30 at the following locations: Hereford & Hops, Bobaloon's, Positively! The Center for Success, the United Way of Delta County office, White's Party Store in Marquette or online at www.uptoberfest.org.
Tickets are also available for $35 the day of the event. Designated drivers 21 and older get into the event free of charge; taxi rides will be offered to those in attendance.
"This event contributes several thousand dollars to our campaign each year," said Mallard, who noted the fun event is a way to attract people who might not traditionally provide financial support to United Way.
For the price of admission, attendees will receive 12 tasting tickets for beer and wine samples, a keepsake pint glass, and food courtesy of Bobaloon's Cafe, said Mallard. There will also be music courtesy of ToHuBoHu and attendees can participate in the popular beer festival game Hammerschlagen for $1 a chance to win prizes.
All beer and wine at the event this year is from Michigan, the majority of which are from the U.P. and northern Lower Peninsula.
Typically more than 75 wines and beers are available for tasting during UPtoberfest.
The breweries and wineries represented at this year's event, according to www.uptoberfest.org, include: Hereford & Hops of Escanaba; Threefold Vine Winery of Garden; Algomah Acres Honey Farm of Mass City; Bell's Brewing Company of Kalamazoo; Blackrocks Brewing Company and Ore Dock Brewing Company, both of Marquette; Founders Brewing Company of Grand Rapids; Greenbush Brewing Company of Sawyer; Keweenaw Brewing Company of Houghton; Liberty Street Brewing Company of Plymouth; New Holland Brewing Company of Holland; Odd Side Ales of Grand Haven; Short's Brewing Company of Bellaire; and Soo Brewing Company of Sault Ste. Marie.
"We appreciate the work that the Bay de Noc Brewers put into this," said Mallard. "There's a lot of planning and a lot of volunteer time that goes into this event. From what I hear...this is one of the best beer festivals around and we're lucky to have it right here in downtown Escanaba."
For more information on this year's UPtoberfest event, visit www.uptoberfest.org.