Woodridge Swim Club to host beer fest May 6

By on April 13, 2017
Woodridge Swim Club board member Jeff McSparren is the coordinator of the upcoming beer fest hosted at the club. Photo by Rochelle Shenk.

Woodridge Swim Club board member Jeff McSparren is the coordinator of the upcoming beer fest hosted at the club. Photo by Rochelle Shenk.

Woodridge Swim Club will host a beer fest Saturday, May 6, from 3 to 6 p.m. Held rain or shine, the event is open to the public and it will be held on the grounds of the club, 50 W. Seventh St. Gates will open at 2:30 p.m.

Ten craft brewers from around the region and will have close to 30 different beers to taste. Food trucks will be on site and live music will be provided Cost is $30.

Woodridge board member Jeff McSparren is coordinating the fundraiser that he’s called “the official kickoff to summer.” He explained that the event will feature a variety of beer styles such as lagers, stouts and IPAs from mostly small newer craft breweries. Participating breweries include Mad Chef, East Petersburg; Cox Brewing Co., Elizabethtown; Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works, Middletown; Collusion Tap Works, York; Union Barrel Works, Reamstown; Iron Hill Brewery, Lancaster; and Stoudt’s Brewing Co., Adamstown.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to sample beer. For people who enjoy craft beer, they may sample something from a brewery they hadn’t tried before. For those who may be new to craft beer, it’s a chance to try a variety of beer styles and find what appeals to them,” he said.

Food trucks will include Auntie Anne’s and Bountiful Feast. There will also be door prizes, and guests can enter a drawing to win “Beer for a Year” in the form of a $600 gift card from Flory Distributing Company in Lititz.

A member for the swim club’s board for over a year, McSparren said that he was “pretty much raised at Woodridge.” He was a member of the swim team from ages five to 18, held his first job at the pool, and then went on to become a lifeguard.

Proceeds are earmarked for the 61-year-old swim club’s capital fund.

“People don’t realize that maintaining a pool is expensive. As a private pool, we’re supported by members. As a board we try to keep membership rates reasonable, which means we need to do some fundraisers,” McSparren said.

Last year at McSparren’s urging the swim club hosted an adult night at the pool. The event, which was held on a Saturday during the pool season, was open only to adults, both members and non-members. It featured games, music and food. He said that about 100 people attended, and it raised about $1,500.

The success of that event spurred the board to consider other fundraisers. The popularity of the Lititz Ambucs’ beer festival seemed like a good direction.

“We know that an event like this has been successful in our community, so we thought we’d try something on a smaller scale,” he explained. “We’re doing this before the pool season kicks off so that it doesn’t impact our members’ use of the pool. We’re also sensitive to neighboring residents, which is why we have the event ending at 6 p.m.”

It will not only raise funds for the pool, but McSparren hopes that it will also raise awareness of the private pool and showcase its amenities as well as the local businesses that are sponsors of the event.

Tickets will be limited to 325. The event itself will be located in the open area of the pool property closest to Seventh Street. Guests will enter the lower gate. McSparren stressed that the event has the necessary permits from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and the local police have been given a “heads-up.”

Tickets may be purchased either through a link on Woodridge’s website, woodridgeswimclub.net, or directly at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/woodridge-swim-club-beerfest-tickets-32504103649.

Rochelle A. Shenk is a freelance reporter and regular contributor to the Record Express. She can be reached at RAASHENK@aol.com.

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