OCTOBERFEST PHOTOS: Beer and wings are a hit at the Riverwalk

A little rain in the morning didn’t prevent a whole bunch of people from drinking some beer and eating wings in the afternoon. (Photos by Brad Durrell)

Many hundreds of people turned out for the second annual Hoptoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Riverwalk (Veterans Memorial Park) in Shelton.

“It’s a chance to experience different brewers, hang out with friends, eat wings, and drink beer,” said Derrick Champagne, who was enjoying the festivities with a group of friends.

Champagne’s wife, Jennifer, is active with the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club, which organizes the event.

Scores of craft brewers were represented as well as about a dozen restaurants. Despite the wet start to the day, the rain subsided by starting time although it remained overcast. Turnout appeared to be about the same as in 2013.

The festival included live music, a Hoptoberfest merchandise booth, and a few non-beer vendor tables.

'Having a good time'

Jessica Beach and Casey Gorman, both of Shelton, dropped by to partake in the offerings. “We’re supporting the Rotary Club while having a good time,” said Gorman, who also performed music on stage.

“It’s an afternoon with family and friends, and music and beer — what can be better than that,” Gorman said.

Kenny Bullard, who grew up in Shelton, came with girlfriend Lauren Bruno. They were checking out the tent of Yuengling beer, a Pennsylvania beer that promotes itself as “America’s oldest brewery.”

“This is awesome,” Bullard said of all the people and the wide beer selection. “We like beer.” Bullard is a 2008 Shelton High graduate. The couple lives in Rocky Hill.

“It’s fun,” said Karen Price of Fairfield, attending with her husband, Bob.

“The wings are very good,” Bob said. “I’ll probably eat eight to 12 of them, at least.”

Their daughter Lauren P. Kazzi helped to organize the event for the Rotary Club.

Many attendees wore pretzel necklaces, a tradition among craft beer festival fans. They eat the pretzels as they consume beer during the course of the event. “It quenches the palate,” said Charlie Hagerty of New Jersey.