Families, friends, neighbours and community members attending the Mulmur Hops in the Hills got a glimpse of normalcy this past weekend as they embraced the outdoors to celebrate an Oktoberfest inspired beer and cider event.
Jeanette McFarlane, an instructor for the Manfeild Outdoor Centre where the beer and cider event was held, organized the Oct. 23 event with the help of an avid user of the centre in just six weeks, including beer, food, music, and ticketing.
Speaking with the Free Press, MacFarlane said they wanted to create a space for people to reconnect.
“It was for our small community where there aren’t a lot of options for people to get together,” said McFarlane. “We needed something to bring us together again, to help us rekindle all those old relationships.”
Tickets for the event went on sale Oct. 9 and sold out in under 48 hours. A total of 350 people attended the Saturday festivities.
While families took the chance to enjoy a hike or bike the centre’s new trails, a selection of breweries and cideries including Trestle Brewing Company, Goodlot, Northwinds, Duntroon, Ernest Cider, and Barnstormer set up in camp cabins. The event also had live music from noon until 10 p.m. with several different acts performing.
From what she saw at Hops in the Hills, McFarlane said attendees were happy and carefree while also embracing the outdoors.
“Everybody was just so happy and thrilled to feel slightly normal again, where friends could see friends, neighbours and people just meeting each other could in an open, safe environment,” she said.
With the success of the 2021 Hops in the Hills, McFarlane said the Mansfield Outdoor Centre is already set to make it an annual event for the community.
“We’re now rethinking the outdoor space and what else we can do for more community inspired events to bring people together,” said McFarlane.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press