Downtown Warsaw was host to two overlapping events Saturday.
The first event Saturday was One Warsaw’s Celebrating Us from 4 to 8 p.m., which extended from City Hall across Center Street to the county courthouse lawn.
Travis McConnell, One Warsaw, said Saturday’s event was the fifth year for Celebrating Us.
The mission of One Warsaw is to plan the inclusion of all people. Celebrating Us helps bring people together and celebrate all the cultures in town.
Dancers from Debra Collier’s School of Dance performed during One Warsaw’s Celebrating Us Saturday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union
McConnell said Saturday’s event was on a beautiful day. It was a little light maybe, but there were plenty of people there.
There were participating local businesses and organizations, foods from around the world, performances and music and activities for adults and children.
Heather Lardino, One Warsaw, said they bring everything together to help provide education otherwise not known in the community and gather people all in one place and make people familiar with things they might not comfortable with and give people a chance to see it.
The second event held downtown Saturday was Kosciusko Kettleheads’ Homebrew Fest, which went from 5 to 9 p.m. in the 100 block of Buffalo Street.
Jason Rich, Kettleheads president, said Saturday’s event was the 12th Homebrew Fest.
Rich said last year, Celebrating Us happened at the same time as Homebrew Fest and it was a great partnership and “we had a lot of fun and this year, we decided to do it again.”
Jason Rich, president of the Kettleheads, speaks with people attending the Homebrew Fest Saturday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union
During Homebrew Fest, all of the local homebrewers who make everything at their own house, garage, barn, yard, etc. are able to come to the event and showcase their creations, Rich said. There were a little over 30 offerings this year.
Originally, the event was in Winona Lake and it was moved to Warsaw because Kettleheads wanted a bigger venue “and we have it,” Rich said. The Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce has been gracious in helping the event expand.
Rich hopes people get a greater awareness of different flavors of beers to try and to feel good giving money to a good cause.
Every year, proceeds go to Combined Community Services. Proceeds come from ticket sales and sponsors like Lewis Salvage, Cross Roads Banks, Cerulean, Blue Note, The Spectacle Shoppe and Maple Leaf Farms. Last year, about $15,000 was raised for CCS.
Rich said the programs CCS has are indispensable and for “us to help with that is gratifying.”
Randy Polston, executive director of CCS, said the need is “so great right now. Our emergency services food pantry has been setting record numbers needing food. Pre-pandemic, we were bringing in 350 to 400 families a month. We just in August, 732 families came in August.”
The proceeds from Homebrew Fest will help CCS with the food pantry and the utility assistance program. There are so many people that need utility assistance, CCS has exceeded its budget twice so far this year, Polston said.
Polston said there were a record number of presales this year for Homebrew Fest and there’s a larger tent that last year.
Polston said it takes a village to raise a child and “this type of effort” to help take care of the people who need it.