Leila S. Case: It was hot glass and craft beer time

Published 10:36 am Saturday, April 13, 2019

Goodness gracious! Americus Main Street’s Qaijuan Willis and his committee’s hard work and long hours demonstrate just how much time and energy were spent to make the 3rd annual Americus Hot Glass Craft Beer Festival at Rylander Park a huge success last Saturday. It had just the right mix of music, food, and drink to make it perfect, including the welcome sunshine after a morning of rain including thunder and lightning.
Everyone, all 1,800 including myself, was having a wonderful time and it certainly wasn’t from the effect of the beer samples (I only had two sips) — it was just the old-fashioned fun of mixing and mingling with friends from here and out of town who returned just for the event, and there were many. I also met a number of visitors from afar.
For various reasons, I couldn’t attend the two previous events but I wouldn’t have missed this one for anything. I volunteered at the main gate for two hours and I would have stayed at my station longer because I was having so much fun, but I wanted to join the throng and see what was going on.
And it was lots — the festival was spread across the entire Rylander Park and overflowed to Lenny’s Market where there were more craft beer vendors and a tremendous display of beautiful art glass merchandise for sale by local and out of town glass artists, as well as glass-blowers at work.
Among the many aspects of the festival were the fascinating demonstrations by some 30 glass artists among whom were Americus’ own Ralph Harvey, Phil Vinson, Davin Cole, Charles Wells, and many others.
Among those I saw in the crowd were Kathy Mueller, John and Katherine Morgan, Alison Drinnon, Donna Minich, John and Tiffany Dean, Charles and Kim Christmas, George Ellis, Jody Hagerson, Amy Argo, Shawn Cavender, Lynn Ansley of Gainesville, Jim and Trish Sheffield of Signal Mountain, Tenn., Pete Sheffield of Atlanta, Beth Alston, Gayle Alston of Parrott, Mark and Anne Barrett, Beau Barrett and Natalie Mitchum of Macon, Courtney Minnix and her mom Sarah McLain, Ann and Spencer Davis of Albany, Deanna Pope of Atlanta, Marilynne Joiner, Nick Owens, James Edgemon, Patty Perles, Thurston and Gail Clary, Cindy Pryor, Michelle and Tripp Parker, Dr. Ben and Michelle Andrews, Justin and Rachel Arnold with daughters Sloan and Charlotte Arnold, Ricky and Jane Arnold, Evan and Amanda Kutzler, Corey and Angie Flegel, Dr. Andy Carlson, Linda and Paul Degelmann, David and June Ewing, Valerie Jones Bean, Elena Carne and daughter, Americus Mayor Barry and Tami Blount, Elena Albamonte and her husband Chuck, and daughter from Washington, D.C., Dave and Kathleen Tucker, Billy Shattles, Billy and Kay Tye and friends John and Kay Adams from Atlanta, Kellette Wade, Bond and Meg Anderson from Parrott, Mark Pace, Lane and Lisa Wiggins, Jenna Huss, Jim Bolin, Linda Jordan and Linda Hanner from Parrott, Phil and Nina Martin from Hawkinsville, Grier Smith Allen from Leesburg, Lynn Bailey, David McLemore from Anderson, S.C., Heys Wade, Charlene McGowan, Dan McGowan, Debra Holloway, Joan Erkhart, Harriett Williams, Donnie McCrary, Lou Chase, Kat Mournighan, Chuck Smith, Rusty Whaley, Rene and Angela Smith.
Altogether, attendees enjoyed visiting the booths of 20 craft beer vendors, three wineries and three food vendors. Y’all, it was fun. Bring it back next year.
Meanwhile, I hope to see you today at the Americus Junior Service League’s spring luncheon and fashion show, Wolf Creek Plantation’s spring festival, and this evening at the Americus Art’s Jazz Night at its new Gallery at 117 W. Forsyth St. — all today.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.