Dabble in the Farms to bring craft beverages, music to Hill in June

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 30, 2016

Ramon L. Farinos/Shutterstock

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — For fans of the popular Dabble in the Farms events — which have quickly attracted a following for their mix of eclectic food, craft beer and entertainment — there’s some good news and some bad news.

The good news is that Dabble in the Farms will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. June 4 in the municipal parking lot behind businesses on the Hill. The bad news is that this is the only Dabble event on the calendar for 2016.

The craft tasting event will feature a variety of beers, wines and spirits from local producers, along with dining options provided by Detroit food trucks, artisan vendors, outdoor games and nationally touring bands.

Attendees will notice a somewhat different configuration this summer, with clusters of smaller tents “to create more of a strolling atmosphere” taking the place of large circus tents, said Liquid Events Detroit owner Jason Dritsan, one of the producers of the event.

“This year, we are looking to … go to a bit more of a festival layout,” he explained during a March 7 Farms City Council meeting.

Also new is the choice of charity partner, which this year is the nonprofit East Side Youth Sports Foundation. Dritsan, who said he grew up on the east side, noted that this organization uses grants, scholarships and programs to make sports available to all kids, and encourages good sportsmanship and teamwork. He added that the group also works to bridge the gap between Detroit and the suburbs. Although the East Side Youth Sports Foundation was once more focused on hockey, he said it now involves baseball, soccer and lacrosse as well.

“There are many people that are involved that are from the Pointes,” Dritsan said.

City Councilman Joe Ricci said he was pleased to see that the Dabble organizers had chosen this local organization over a more regional nonprofit that had been supported by previous Dabble events.

“I’m glad you switched the charitable (recipient),” he said. “(The ESYSF is) a great program.”

Dritsan said they will once again be obtaining the necessary licenses, insurance and permits to hold the event, along with coordinating with the city’s Public Safety Department. He said they portion and pre-bag their cocktails, and attendees can expect more whiskey and bourbon-based beverages this year.

Since fall 2013, Dritsan noted that this is the sixth event he and his partners have produced in the Farms — five of them being Dabble events and the sixth being the Oktoberfest-themed PROST Pointe last fall. While they’ve had two events per year in some years, in 2016, Dritsan said they’re just hosting one Dabble in the Farms.

The Dabble and PROST Pointe events have raised more than $20,000 over the last few years for community organizations and nonprofits, organizers said.

Public Safety Director Daniel Jensen said Dabble hasn’t proved to be a problem from a public safety standpoint.

“I don’t believe we’ve received one complaint in the past number of years” about these events, he said.

Although Jensen said the live band “has always been a concern of mine,” he noted that noise hasn’t been an issue in the past, and if it gets too loud this year, his department will ask organizers to turn down the volume.

Dritsan said the band — which hadn’t been named at press time — will be performing on the Richard Elementary School property, but the audio will be directed toward Kercheval, not toward the residential area behind the school and the business district.

The City Council voted unanimously in favor of allowing Dabble organizers to hold the event on city property.

“Dabble in the Farms is a celebration of the tastes of the season and serves as a kickoff to summer after a long Michigan winter,” said organizer Joe Choma, owner of Grand Circus Media, a producer of the event, in a prepared statement. “Dabble provides us an opportunity to showcase the charming beauty and community of the Pointes, drawing some much-deserved attention to a thriving neighborhood and business district.”

Tickets, which include 15 beverage samples, cost $40 in advance and $45 on the day of the event, which is held rain or shine. They went on sale March 11. Dabble is only open to those ages 21 and older. For advance tickets or more information, visit www.dabblegp.com.

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