Rotary Club of Meriden, Connecticut
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Meriden Wine and Beer Festival Draws Crowd to New Location


The annual Silver City Wine and Brewfest was held Friday night in a new location on the city’s east side.

About 400 people sampled wine, beer and food at the event held at the YMCA’s Mountain Mist Camp on High Hill Road. The Meriden Rotary Club usually holds the wine tasting and beer sampling in the downtown courtyard next to the Meriden Police Department.

Despite the new location, sales are ahead of the last four years, said Rotary Chairwoman Yvonne deAngeli-Fontanez.

”We are having one fabulous night this year,” deAngeli-Fontanez said. “It’s reallly windy here but other than that, everything is wonderful.

Event organizers decided to change the venue to save costs, deAngeli-Fontanez said. Instead of having to rent a tent to put up for the event, they only to have to pay a user fee for an existing tent at Mountain Mist. They also saved on city police and Parks Department services.

The annual event is a fundraiser for non-profits and it made sense to cut costs to give more to the recipients, deAngeli-Fontanez said. The event benefited the United Way and the Rotary Club.

“We want to thank them for their generosity, particularly the restaurants that donated the food and the volunteers,” said United Way Executive Director Maria Campos-Harlow.

About 70 volunteers donated their time and 35 restaurants donated food. Volunteers passed around hot food samples, such as New England clam chowder from Spoonshoppe Brook Deli, and Buffalo Wings from Archie Moore’s.

Jack Broughton came to the festival to sample the food and drinks but to say goodbye to former United Way Executive Director James Ieronimo.

“It looks like they have a nice set set up but if it gets cool, it’s going to get really cold,” Boughton said. “It’s a good place to come to browse around.”

The event was Ieronimo’s final fundraiser before retirement.

”They decided it’s a chance to transition from me to Maria,” Ieronimo said. “This is the last time I’ll see these people. These are people I’ve worked with for 30 years. There’s a good familiarity. It’s bittersweet.”

By Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal staff 

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