Title sponsor signed for Beer Cheese Festival
Published 4:53 pm Friday, May 12, 2017
The Beer Cheese Festival will gain a financial boost this year after Shop Local Kentucky signed on to sponsor the one-day festival.
The Winchester Board of Commissioners approved a three-year contract with Shop Local Kentucky, owned by Winchester native Rick Paynter, during its meeting Tuesday night.
Main Street Winchester Director Rachel Alexander said this is the first title sponsor for the festival, now in its ninth year.
“We’re really excited about Shop Local Kentucky being a sponsor,” she said. “They’ve been a force of positivity for Kentucky. We couldn’t have cherry-picked a better sponsor.”
Shop Local Kentucky designs, makes and sells Kentucky-themed apparel. Since starting about four years ago, Shop Local Kentucky has grown to employ 14 people and uses a 10,000 square-foot warehouse in Lexington.
“I’ve watched the Beer Cheese FEstival grow into a regional event,” Paynter said. “For me, it’s important to come back home. The Beer Cheese FEstival was a good fit.”
Beginning in 2009, Winchester’s downtown programs ran the one-day festival as a fundraiser for other downtown programs. Alexander said it’s the department’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Signing a title sponsor will aid those fundraising efforts, she said.
Through the years, Main Street Winchester has saved about $50,000 for implementing the downtown master plan and other projects, she said. Title sponsorship will aid those efforts.
“Every year we do a lot of fund raising,” Alexander said. “In the past we talked about getting a title sponsor. This year we decided to go for it. We were very lucky.”
The terms of the agreement call for a $5,000 payment for the first year. Following this year’s festival, Shop Local Kentucky can renew the contract for two more years with payments of $6,000 in 2018 and $7,000 in 2019.
The company will also have an extra-large booth during the festival to sell its wares.
“We’ll try to do a couple funny shirts and things to bring pride to Winchester,” Paynter said, including some exclusive items which will not be offered online or elsewhere, he said.
“They have a unique sense of humor (with) lots of puns, and they’re cheesy like the Beer Cheese Festival,” Alexander said. “I can’t wait to see what the come up with.”
The 2017 Beer Cheese Festival will be Saturday, June 10. For more about the festival, go to www. beercheesefestival.com. For Shop Local Kentucky, go to thekyshop.com.