Perfect summer evening makes for stellar scenes from Red, Wine & Brew

 

Story and photos by WNLP’s Mike Kellems

(Story below photos; click on photos to enlarge)

Mike Kellems’ drone shots above and below show some of the estimated crowd of 4 to 5 thousand.

Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Morse (right) proposes to his girlfriend, Elizabeth, onstage as Pastor Dennis Meyer looks on approvingly. The answer was … “YES.”

This photo and the 3 below show the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales, who led rides at the Summit field. In the 3rd photo below, a Clydesdale shows its opinion of a certain photographer.

 

This photo and the one below show Dillon Carmichael performing. La Portean Austin Polan is the artist who created the colorful microphone stand.

This photo and the one directly above shows volunteers keeping the food and drink plentiful for guests.

Build it, and they will come! That line from the movie “Field of Dreams” could very well have applied to a grass field at La Porte County’s Summit as the 5th annual Red, Wine and Brew Fest took place Friday night. The event, coordinated by Bethany Lutheran Church, is the church’s effort to support our area police, fire and EMS. To date, more than $80,000 has been donated to programs that support K-9s, rescue tools and equipment that are much needed by area emergency responders.

Pastor Dennis Meyer, who emceed the concert, thanked the thousands of attendees and said 100% of the event’s proceeds will be donated to local police. fire and EMS departments.

A member of the church’s congregation offered use of the land, which is in the shadow of the alien-looking water tower at the Summit Farm. Several weeks of preparation including planting of hundreds of acres of grass, constructing a barn and making access to the field of fun and festivities.

Carey Garwood, 0utreach director for Bethany, is the driving force behind the project, which not only raises funds for first responders but recognizes their hard work and dedication. Carey is very quick to deflect credit and is always quick to heap praise upon the dozens of volunteers who are a part of every step, from prepping the land to parking the cars. Garwood has also used her charm to bring a lot of big-name country music talent out of Nashville. Headliners this year included Eddie Montgomery of the band Montgomery Gentry, Dillon Carmichael, John Michael Montgomery and Walker Montgomery.

A host of local families and businesses band together to support the event, which has grown from a few hundred to a few thousand. 3,500 tickets were sold in advance this year, and Garwood estimated there were between 4,000 and 5,000 there Friday.

A major highlight of the evening was the arrival of the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, which will also pull their famous beer wagon down the La Porte parade route Sunday. The horse team, complete with a beautiful dalmatian, set up at the start of the event and spent a couple of hours giving rides and circling the picturesque grassy field.

And if beer, food, friends and Clydesdales aren’t enough for you, how about romance? Andrew Morse, a longtime K-9 handler for the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office, used the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend Elizabeth onstage. The old-fashioned, down-on-one-knee proposal was a complete surprise to Elizabeth.

Garwood was enthusiastic about the turnout and thankful for how well everything went. Meyer took a moment while on stage to ask everyone to thank God for the fantastic weather following more than a week of heavy rainfall. Garwood said plans for next year are already “brewing.” It’ll be a few weeks before final tabulations are in, but the church expects to present checks to fire responders around the first of August.

2 Responses to “Perfect summer evening makes for stellar scenes from Red, Wine & Brew”

  1. Pam

    Jul 05. 2021

    What a great success . Thank you everyone for your hard work an time. Looking forward to next year!👍🥰

    Reply to this comment
  2. Russ

    Jul 05. 2021

    It was a great time and we enjoyed all of the bands, Can’t wait till next year!

    Reply to this comment

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