Letter to the Editor: A big thank you to festival volunteers


Now that the dust has settled on the second annual Hop Blossom Craft Beer Festival, we are excited to report another successful Old Town event. We are happy to announce that we were able to raise $11,000, which will enable the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke County and GoodDogz.org to help homeless dogs throughout the area. We estimate that 2,300 guests participated in this year’s festival and a total attendance of 5,000 visitors to Old Town throughout the day. We have also been told that many businesses in Old Town were packed with new faces, visitors and residents.

Hop Blossom continues to be an enormous undertaking and we would like to extend a special thanks to the following people. Our festival team consisting of Mark Bates (Community Events & Promotions), Charlie Fish (Murphy Beverage Company), Eric Boyers (Valley Homebrew), Tim Arndt (Shenandoah Valley Homebrewer’s Guild), Dan McCoig (Winchester Ale Sampling Society), Brian Wing, Mark Quince, Angela Turner and Addie Lingle worked as a wonderful and effective group in order to create this dynamic event.

Volunteers from the SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke County provided critical assistance that benefited guests as well as our own team. Chief Kevin L. Sanzenbacher and the Winchester Police Department have once again kept festival guests safe. The Winchester Sheriff’s Department worked seamlessly with our committee and volunteers throughout the day.

Our regional Virginia ABC agent, Kevin Weatherholtz, was a helpful resource to ensure the festival was in compliance with ABC regulations. The Old Town Winchester Business Association ensured that we communicated clearly and openly with the business community. Polly’s Cab owner and event sponsor John Nelson ensured that guests had a safe ride home.

The outpouring of interest in volunteering was incredible and we are forever grateful to each and every volunteer who supported the event – from planning to day-of help. We’d like to extend a special thanks to local Winchester business owners and various agencies of the city of Winchester for again supporting the event, supporting our efforts and being a critical cog in its overall success. Cheers to Hop Blossom 2015!

Beth J. Bates, founder and president, GoodDogz.org, Inc.
Bunny Jackson, president of the Board of Directors, SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke County