Wild West Brew Fest is the top beer festival in North America, and it’s an important fundraising event for Katy youth programs. The biannual event takes place at Katy Mills Mall, and it’s also a prodigious revenue generator for the city.

Featuring drafts from more than 500 breweries, the event draws thousands of visitors that fill local hotels, dine at local eateries and patronize local shops during the three-day event.

So when Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order ending public gatherings shut down the spring festival, it was a blow to both the city and beer lovers across the country.

Now Wild West Brew Fest goers are anxiously watching the October 2020 festival to see if the popular attraction will still take place.

According to Wild West Brew Fest’s official Facebook page, the festival, which takes place Oct. 22- 24, is still a go.

The event is hosted by the Katy Rotary Club, a 501(c)(3) charitable service organization. The Rotary Club donates the revenue from the event to local youth charities like the FFA.

David Loesch, event organizer for Wild West Brew Fest, said event organizers are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation, but for now, the event is still on.

None of the vendors have backed out for the event, he added, and there have been no refund requests from ticket holders. “I’m really thankful for that,” Loesch said. “It’s a sign that people really love this event and really want to see it happen this fall.”

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For Loesch, the event is about more than just drawing a crowd and celebrating a love for beer. Without the revenue from the event, the Rotary Club won’t be able to donate as much money to local youths.

“We give away roughly $140,000 each year, and that money goes primarily to kids who need help,” he said.

“For instance, an FFA kid that needs help buying an animal for their project, or a band student that needs the flute, and their parents can’t afford it, or you have a student that wants to go on a leadership conference, and their parents can’t afford it – those are the things we target,” he explained. “So without this event, those are things we can’t provide.”

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Loesch said that the organizers will look primarily to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to determine if the event is safe, but they also take cues from the Brewers Association of America, an organization that represents craft brewers across the world.

“The Brewers Association does a lot of tracking of the disease and follows governments very closely to monitor the situation from a beer festival perspective, so they’re a really great organization for us to be a part of,” Loesch said.

Loesch stated that the best way to get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the festival is via the Wild West Brew Fest’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Katy-Wild-West-Brew-Fest-173696302747587/.

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COVID-19 shut down the spring Wild West Brew Fest. Check out these updates for the fall festival: have 856 words, post on www.chron.com at May 28, 2020. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.