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Tuesday, January 15 , 2019, 10:56 pm | Mostly Cloudy 53º


Santa Maria Festival Serves Up Tempting Blend of Arts, Beer, Wine and Food

33rd Annual Autumn Arts Festival, Kiwanis Grapes & Grains team up at Elks Field for fun-packed fund-raisers

Tastings of assorted beers were poured for attendees at the Kiwanis Grapes & Grains held along with the Autumn Arts Festival on Saturday in Santa Maria. Click to view larger
Tastings of assorted beers were poured for attendees at the Kiwanis Grapes & Grains held along with the Autumn Arts Festival on Saturday in Santa Maria. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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Samples of art, beer and wine were taken in Saturday during the 33rd Annual Autumn Arts Festival held in conjunction with the Kiwanis Grapes & Grains event in Santa Maria.

For the second year, the Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria beer and wine tasting fundraiser occurred on Elks Field, with multiple canopy tents set up to provide shade for those pouring and those tasting.

In addition to multiple wines, the event offered up to 50 different types of beers, courtesy of local breweries and distributors.

“It’s just a wide variety of beer so whatever the beer drinker likes,” said Mike Sell, Kiwanis event chairman. “But it’s a great opportunity to try something you don’t normally drink.”

After coping with extremely hot temperatures in the past couple of years, Sell welcomed the mild weather served up this year for the more than 350 people in attendance.

“It’s such an awesome day, too,” he added. “The weather was so cooperative to us.”

New this year was a festival lounge for people to upgrade their tickets to get a spot in a private tent with exclusive tastings and appetizers, Sell said.

Two food trucks — Cubanissimo and Island Mixs — were set up on the field for wine and beer tasters seeking food.

They ended up being “a huge hit,” Sell said.

“Loving the event,” said Becky Keehn of San Luis Obispo, who was sampling a Cambria Estate Vineyard & Winery offering.

Funding from the beer and wine tasting supports People for Leisure and Youth, the nonprofit arm of the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department, and Kiwanis for Kids Foundation.

The beer and wine tasting has occurred for about a decade in conjunction with Autumn Arts Festival.

Chalk art, music, crafts and information made up the family-friendly festival organized by the Recreation and Parks Department and held on the 400 to 600 blocks of McClelland Street.

The free community festival featured a fine arts show, youth and teen activities, an active aging section, food and art vendors, and more.

Righetti High School FFA offered youths a chance to climb on top of a tractor while the Santa Maria Arts Council sold raffle tickets for bird houses made by notable artists, with proceeds supporting the spring youth arts show that will mark its 37th edition in 2017. Click here for more information about the raffle.

The festival also included the second annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest as well as a classic car show.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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