SEBRING — Funds from Sebring’s Craft Beer festival next Saturday will help turn the damaged downtown building that houses the Children’s Museum of the Highlands into a cheerful and welcoming educational place for young boys and girls.

Renovations are scheduled to begin in the next two weeks, and the fundraiser will help staff purchase exciting new exhibits and improve the overall function of the museum.

The sixth annual beer festival will be held from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 on Circle Park and will showcase 50 unique craft beers from Florida-based breweries.

Turn 2 Brewing Co., a local Sebring craft beer company, will be providing six original Turn 2 beers for festival attendees to sample. “Micro or craft beer is the freshest beer you will get. It has a better, more robust flavor than macro beer. It’s delectably better than off-the-shelf beer,” Herb Somers, from Turn 2 Brewing Co. said.

“We are part of the Craft Brewer’s Association, a national organization devoted to craft, or micro breweries. At the festival, we will have six different beers,” Somers said. “One of them is called Lemon Squared; it’s a lemon cake flavored beer that’s not quite a lemon shandy but close.”

Turn 2 Brewing Co. will be serving samples of one of their most popular beers, Apricot, Cilantro and Habanero Ale. “It has an apricot taste up front, earthy notes in the middle from the hops and cilantro and a peppery finish from the habanero,” Somers said. “It’s not a hot beer, just a mild spice to complete the complex flavor profile. It’s by far our most requested brew.”

This craft beer company brews five gallon batches at a time. Turn 2 Brewing Co. will also be serving Brown Ale, Belgian Golden Strong Ale and Chocolate Porter, a robust porter with delicate notes of chocolate and peanut butter. For beer connoisseurs desiring a pale ale, Turn 2 will be serving IPA Ale.

“We have done the beer festival for the last three years, and we have had an astounding response from all who are at the events and who have tried our samples,” Somers said. “This year will be number four, and we hope to continue the tradition.”

Blackbird Anthem, a local Avon Park band, will be playing live music. The group plays Southern rock music and gives back to the veteran community. U.S Army combat veteran Adam C. Martin, who is the lead singer, taught himself to play and sing after returning home from Iraq in 2004, according to Blackbirdanthem.com. “Today, he uses the grit and work ethic he learned in the military and turns them into the powerful lyrics that are equal to his voice.”

Bob Evans, Blue Lagoon, Dimitri’s Pizza Kitchen and Nutmeg’s will set up tents and serve enticing samples of their signature menu items for event attendees.

Guests can purchase a general admission ticket for $30 or a VIP ticket for $55. Designated driver tickets are only $15.

All guests will have armbands showing their level of purchase. General admission includes entry into the festival, a cup for sampling beer, small bites from local restaurants and live music from Blackbird Anthem. Designated drivers can enjoy the food and music, but drinks will be limited to soda and water.

VIP admission features all the perks of general admission plus an air-conditioned VIP lounge with a private bar inside the Circle Theatre. The VIP lounge houses its own catered light dinner from Outback, a private bar, special not-yet-on-the-market samples of Bourbon Country, a VIP Lanyard, private bathrooms and entertainment by Bellanger Media Group. VIP admission also includes the after-event party from 9-10 p.m.

Tickets are on sale online at tickets.beerfests.com/event/Sebring2018 or at the front desk of the Children’s Museum in Lakeshore Mall. Tickets will also be sold at the door. The event will be held rain or shine.

The Sebring’s Craft Beer Festival is a major fundraiser, which is organized by the Children’s Museum of the Highlands.

“This is one of our biggest events of the year and helps fund the mission of the museum to renovate our downtown building and create a safe, learning environment for our families,” Kelly Dressel, executive director of the Children’s Museum, said. “The museum will be even bigger and better after the construction.

“We are excited to announce we are moving forward in our rebuild of the downtown building located on Ridgewood Drive,” Dressel said. “We start demo on our building this month with the construction to follow. We are aiming to move back to the original building by the summer of 2019.

“We are so excited to start the work on the remodeling and get back to our downtown Sebring home,” she said. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s taken the love of this entire community to help us rebuild, and we are forever grateful to them.”

“We are asking our community to support us with donations and in-kind building support,” she said. “We’d also love the residents to join our craft beer festival next Saturday at the Circle, starting at 6 p.m.”

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