Attendees enjoy a past event held by the Gazette Media Group in Utica. The Fork and Cork Festival will take place this Friday and Saturday.

Attendees enjoy a past event held by the Gazette Media Group in Utica. The Fork and Cork Festival will take place this Friday and Saturday.

Photo provided by Mark Nicholson

Fork and Cork Festival to visit Utica this weekend

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 17, 2018

UTICA — The first Fork and Cork Festival will be coming to downtown Utica Sept. 21-22.

The festival will be held in the Utica Fire Department parking lot and the gravel lot located behind it from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

The Fork and Cork Festival will highlight food from local restaurants and food trucks, offer a selection of wine and craft beer, showcase cooking demonstrations, provide music from local and national performers, and feature art and hand-crafted items for sale from local artists and artisans.

There will be a selection of more than 150 wines to choose from.

Proceeds from the beer and wine sales at the event will support the Humane Society of Macomb.

The festival will feature the Nash FM’s “Nash Next Music Competition,” and contest winners will be announced at the event on Saturday night. Finalists will compete on the main stage for a chance at a record deal from Big Machine Records (Taylor Swift’s label) and have a chance to go to Nashville Oct. 11.

Chuck Wicks, from Ty, Kelly & Chuck in the morning, will be coming to town to be a celebrity judge and to perform live.

It will be the first time this type of event will be held in Utica.

“Utica has an excellent downtown and community, and it brings together other cities, and with the ballpark, it’s the perfect location. It’s a beautiful community and centrally located,” said Mark Nicholson, the publisher at Gazette Media Group, in a phone call. Gazette Media Group, in partnership with the Humane Society of Macomb, is hosting the event.

Live music will be playing on two stages throughout both nights — the Acoustic Stage and the Main Stage.

Friday’s Main Stage will host the Sun Messengers and the Grand Rapids funk quartet Big Sherb. On the Acoustic Stage, jazz vocalist Sheila Landis and the Brothers Mogan will perform.

On Saturday’s Acoustic Stage, Marines veteran and country newcomer Donny Dunbar and Detroit folk rock band Remnose will play.

The festival entrance will be located next to the Utica Fire Department, 7609 Auburn Road, off Brownell and Summers streets.

Admission to the festival is free.

Thom Dionne, the mayor of Utica, said he is really excited and looks forward to all the event has to offer Utica residents and surrounding areas.

“(The organizers) saw all of the events we have been having here in Utica and that we’re a destination, and (they) chose Utica. It’s the first time we’ve had this type of event, and we are really excited to be able to do this. They will have 70 to 80 vendors with crafts and artists, craft beers, and 93.1 Nash FM with national celebrities. It’s a really big deal,” said Dionne said in a phone call.

For more information on the event, visit