TEMISKAMING SHORES – The fifth edition of the North on Tap Craft Beer Festival filled the Haileybury waterfront with approximately 2,000 people enjoying great weather, friends and opportunities to taste beers and wines from across Northeastern Ontario on July 8.

A free family-oriented community event also took place on Friday evening, July 7, at the same location, and attracted approximately 1,600 people, said Danielle Bélanger-Corbin, one of the North on Tap committee members.

She said North on Tap held the Friday evening event to give back to the community.

“To celebrate our fifth anniversary, we put on a free alcohol-free family event on the Friday night. Over 1,600 kids and their families showed up for this free event. There were inflatable games, a movie, face painting and a street dance with DJ Shawn LaRonde. The North Cobalt Flea Market gave away 500 toys to the kids. Liv ‘n Gracie’s served up over 500 free root-beer floats,” she said.

The Haileybury Fire Department had to replenish its supply of hotdogs and hamburgers three times, she added. The Friday evening event was made possible with the assistance of École catholique Ste-Croix, the Haileybury Fire Department, Open Studio Libre, Shawn LaRonde, The North Cobalt Flea Market, Liv ‘n Gracie’s, Doug Niemi Trucking, the Temiskaming Foundation, and the South Temiskaming Community Futures Development Corporation, she continued.

Overall, the festival “was absolutely phenomenal and without a doubt our biggest success to date,” she said.

North on Tap has raised over $230,000 since its inception.

“The weather was perfect and so people arrived in droves early in the afternoon and stayed until the very end. Everything went off without a hitch. The biggest issue we had was getting people to leave at the end of the night! They simply didn’t want the North on Tap experience to end.”

Bélanger-Corbin said committee members believe they broke their attendance record this year, with over 1,700 coming through the gates. Along with hundreds of volunteers, vendors and staff, the event was close to its 2,000 limit, she said.

“People came from far and wide,” she continued. “We even had some folks who had heard about the festival and drove up from Toronto to attend. Luckily, we had some sponsor tickets that were donated at the gate and they were able to purchase them and get in.”

There were also guests from communities such as Ottawa, Sudbury and Timmins who have family members in the area, she added, “but we are also drawing people who follow the craft beer festival circuit and who have heard what an amazing experience North on Tap can be. Many from Ville-Marie and Notre-Dame-du-Nord also crossed Lake Temiskaming to arrive by boat.”

Breweries and distilleries are telling the committee that the North on Tap festival is the best organized event that they attend, said Bélanger-Corbin.

“They say the warm hospitality they experience while they are here is second to none. We take pride in that.”

There were six craft breweries at the event including Whiskeyjack in Haileybury, Full Beard from Timmins, Underground Brewing from Kirkland Lake, South River Brewing Company from South River, and 46 North Brewing of Sudbury.

There were also two distilleries including Crosscut Distillery of Sudbury, and Copperhead Distillery of Sundridge.

Local wine distributor North + Nest of Haileybury was also present and Stack Brewery of Sudbury also sent some of their beers to be sold.

Food vendors included Thornloe Cheese, Yves’ Prime Cut Meats, and Zante’s Bar & Grill. The Haileybury Fire Department also manned a barbecue for the crowds.

The Temiskaming District and the Sudbury and District Pipes and Drums opened the Saturday ceremonies and were followed by bands performing on stage including: Sierra MacMillan, Simon Rivard, Robbie Thornton, Steve Alexander, Nico See, Addison and Adams, The Three Amigos, and The Procrastinators.

The final amount to be given to Zack’s Crib and the Royal Canadian Legion Haileybury Branch 54, as well as smaller amounts to the Armstrong Township Public Library and the Northern Animals Rescue and Sanctuary, is still being calculated. Bélanger-Corbin commented that the committee has the sense “that this will be our most important donation to date.”

She thanked festival supporters and all those who attended.

“We need to acknowledge the financial support of our ultra-platinum, platinum, gold, silver and bronze sponsors. As well, many thanks go out to our recipients and the hundreds of volunteers they provided to ensure the festival ran smoothly. Thank you as well to the Hop To It race organizers for another great event.”

She also thanked fellow committee members Hugo Rivet, Fred Rivet, Guy Desjardins, Gwenn Hearn, Jody Currie and Jacinthe Rivard for their efforts.

Those interested in attending the next event should mark their calendars for July 14, 2024. Tickets will go on sale in early May, and are expected to sell out quickly, she said.

The committee can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at their website www.northontap.ca.

By Darlene Wroe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 12, 2023 at 07:23

This item reprinted with permission from   Temiskaming Speaker   New Liskeard, Ontario

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