Brew & Que kicks off Kutztown's 200th birthday count down

Kutztown celebrates its 200th birthday in 2015 and the count down kicks off with this year’s Brew & Que on Aug. 2.

“The Brew and Que is held to raise funds for the Bicentennial and to promote the 2015 celebration to the town and surrounding residents,” said Kutztown Bicentennial Committee Member Shena Corrado. “The event is planned to mimic the laid back backyard barbecue that is so prevalent throughout Kutztown culture.”

The 2nd Annual Brew & Que will be held Aug. 2 at Kutztown Rod & Gun Club. Food and games are 3 to 7:30 p.m. Frog Holler performs 8 to 10 p.m. All ages are welcome. Must be age 21 or older to drink.

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Chair of the Bicentennial Committee Craig A. Koller said, “The Brew & Que, a fund-raiser for the bicentennial committee, is designed for the entire family. It’s a backyard barbecue.”

The rain or shine event includes homemade barbecue by Janelle Restaurant and Catering Hall, quoits, potato sack races, scavenger hunts for children, bean bag, Kan jam and many more. “The night will end with music by a local favorite, Frog Holler,” said Corrado.

“The aspect I enjoy most is the relaxed atmosphere and the community togetherness,” said Corrado. “This could be anyone’s Friday or Saturday night, but, this time it’s a celebration to give back to your community.”

How does this event benefit the community?

“The most obvious is the monetary support it provides in raising funds for the 2015 Bicentennial. I think it also provides an event for families and people of all ages to spend time together...whether that be sparking up a conversation with someone you’ve never met or catching up with an old friend from high school,” said Corrado.

The Bicentennial is mostly funded by donations, sponsorships and fundraising such as this event, t-shirt sales etc.

“So a successful Brew and Que has the potential to raise the necessary funds to allow the committee a greater range of possibilities for the 2015 events,” Corrado said.

The Kutztown Bicentennial celebration week July 26 to Aug. 2, 2015 includes several events from an ice cream social to a parade, she said.

“We’ve selected events that we believe best showcase this town and celebrates the past and current cultures. The website has the most up to date information for all of the events, http://www.bokutility.com/bicentennial.”

According to Koller, the plans for the bicentennial celebration includes a parade on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015 (rain date Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015). Stephanie Derstine is the chair of the parade committee. Several groups are already planning their entries in the parade and the committee hopes to inspire many others to do the same.

Koller notes that although Kutztown was first established in 1779, it wasn’t incorporated as a borough until March 1, 1815. The bicentennial celebration will not occur on the actual “birthday” of Kutztown because of the “weather of the season” (as they said in 1915 when the centennial celebration was moved to the July 4th week).

Mayor Sandy Green is chairing a committee that is planning a special event for March 1, 2015. Other events planned for the celebratory week are a Family Movie Night, Walking History Tour of Kutztown, Ice Cream Social, the 3rd Annual Brew & Que, A 5K Run, Dinner on Main Street, and Train Rides. The week will end with Kutztown Day in the Kutztown Park with the traditional fireworks finale.

“These events are what we believe to be the best representations of the history of the town as well as the current culture. For example, the Brew and Que is really what quite a few people around town are already doing on a Saturday summer night. We are taking this experience and recreating it on a larger scale for more people to enjoy,” Corrado said.

Her most favorite thing about Kutztown is that “no matter where you are in town, you always feel like you are among family,” she said.

“The saying, “it takes a village” has always been the case with this town. If you don’t believe me or know what I am talking about, move away and then move back,” said Corrado.

Thanking all who have already purchased tickets to the 2nd Annual Brew & Que to support the Bicentennial, she said tickets can be purchased online at www.2014brewandque.eventbrite.com for a small service fee or in person at Mr. Food, Kelchner Cleaners, KTL Cigars, Kutztown Bottling Works, Kutztown Library, Kutztown Rod and Gun Club, and Janelle Restaurant and Catering Hall. Children 12 and under are free.

Koller will submit regular articles in The Patriot throughout the upcoming year to keep readers informed about the celebration plans and relay some interesting historical information about Kutztown. Follow on the Kutztown Bicentennial on Facebook.

Twitter and Instagram accounts will also be activated in the near future. You can also check www.kutztownboro.org and click on the bicentennial logo for information and to purchase bicentennial merchandise. If you have any questions about the bicentennial, please e-mail kutztownbicentennial@hometownu.com.

About the Author

Lisa Mitchell

Lisa Mitchell is the editor of The Kutztown Patriot and Managing Editor of Berks-Mont Newspapers. Reach the author at lmitchell@berksmontnews.com or follow Lisa on Twitter: @kutztownpatriot.