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Beer and wine festival to benefit Gering plaza effort
August 13, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis
If you’re a fan of hand crafted beers and wines from around the region, be sure to mark Aug. 15 on your calendar.
The Best of the West Beer and Wine Festival is this Saturday from 4-8 p.m. in the Mini Park at 18th and Broadway in downtown Scottsbluff. Now in its fifth year, the event is sponsored by the local NEXT Young Professionals group.

A portion of the proceeds always goes back into community redevelopment projects. In past years, the professionals group has sponsored bike racks in downtown Scottsbluff and the awning over the Mini Park.

“This year we decided to help Gering with some of the proceeds because we’re one community,” said Mason Stover of the group. “Gering is working on building a mini park in its downtown area and we want to be a part of that.”

A wide variety of vineyards and breweries will be represented at the event, including Nebraska names like Empyrean Brewing from Lincoln, Thunderhead Brewing from Kearney, James Arthur Vineyards in Raymond and Feather River Vineyards in North Platte. Some of the wineries and breweries will have representatives on hand to talk about their companies and their craft.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Tickets are available at Kelley’s Liquor Cabinet and TLC the Lifestyle Center, both in Scottsbluff, and Gering and Scottsbluff locations of Platte Valley Bank. You may also order tickets online at midwesttheater.com. You must be at least 21 to attend.

Stover said they’re always looking for volunteers to help at the event. He can be reached at 308-633-9517 or sstover@pvbank.com.
“The reason we do this is to help revitalize our downtown areas,” Stover said. “We want to give back to both Gering and Scottsbluff to bring back that downtown atmosphere.

NEXT Young Professionals is a local organization with more than 400 members. Organized in 2008, the group provides networking and social opportunities, training events and fellowship opportunities for young people moving into or returning to the community.

George Schlotahauer, president of the Gering Downtown Redevelopment Committee, said he was pleased for the support and appreciate it. “It’s a great project and we’re glad to see them on board to help us see Gering redevelopment through to fruition.”

Karla Niedan-Streeks, Executive Director of the Gering Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the group is very community minded and are great young leaders. “I’ve seen what they’ve done with festival proceeds in the past and how that’s benefitted a number of great projects in our community. Any funding they’re willing to share in Gering is welcomed and we thank them for thinking of downtown Gering.”
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