BY VICKI TERWILLIGER
On the heels of Yuengling’s 190th celebration Saturday, there may be more for brewery fans to cheer to next year.
“As part of our 190th anniversary, we officially registered April 18 as ‘America’s Oldest Brewery Day,’ so we look forward to celebrating with our fans and the local Pottsville community on future events,” Debbie Yuengling, culture and em-ployee engagement manager of D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc., said in an email Tuesday.
Although America’s Oldest Brewery Day is April 18 and may be near the springtime annual Light Lager Jogger, the two will be separate events.
Business leaders, meanwhile, are planning festivities for the city riding on the success of the Yuengling fete, and the interest generated when two events launched last year. This week, the Pottsville Area Development Corp., Pottsville Business Association and the city were scheduled to mail out letters requesting sponsorships and support for the upcoming second annual Pottsville on Tap event Sept. 21 and the second annual Pottsville Winterfest on Jan. 11, 2020.
The letters were signed by Pottsville Mayor James T. Muldowney, PBA President Dave Clews and Savas G. Logothetides, PADCO executive director. Joining Logothetides with stuffing the letters were Abby Weaver, Joseph Drasdis, Taliah Greenawalt and Sammi Sylvester, an intern with Pressed Coffee & Books.
“Thanks to the very successful Yuengling 190th Anniversary Summer Concert, approximately 15,000 to 17,000 people flooded the streets and celebrated Pottsville as a hub of entertainment and life,” the letter states. “In the efforts to revitalize our city, festivals and events that draw people here are crucial.”
Attendance numbers were generated based on drone photos used during the 190th and analyzed by Paul Kennedy, deputy chief of operations for Lehigh Law Enforcement, according to Logothetides. Lehigh provided event security, traffic and parking services Saturday.
Logothetides said there were 15,000 to 17,000 total visitors throughout the celebration; 9,000 to 10,000 at the free Better Than Ezra concert Saturday night and at least 5,000 attending the beer gardens.
Jessica Seiders, Yuengling communications manager, had estimated attendance midway through the event at 5,000 as of 5 p.m. Saturday.
Logothetides spoke to business owners about the impact of Saturday’s celebration.
“The businesses had nothing but positive things to say about the event,” he said. “It increased foot traffic, and anticipated an increase in revenue.”
There was a lasting effect not only on the day of the 190th anniversary, but also the day before and the day after, according to Logothetides.
For the entire month of July, 5 percent of proceeds from Yuengling’s in-store gift shop sales goes to the Pottsville Continued Progress Project in support of the city’s revitalization.
The family was thrilled by the number of people in the community who celebrated with them, according to Debbie Yuengling.
“We defer to local city officials for exact attendance, but had such a great time celebrating with our fans and the entire Pottsville community,” she said Tuesday. “I can’t tell you how proud I am and how humbling it was to see so many people come to Pottsville to celebrate with us. It was truly an amazing day put together by so many people.”
She thanked the many groups who played an instrumental role in the event — PADCO, the city of Pottsville, all of the volunteers and Yuengling employees who worked tirelessly to “create such a flawless event.”
“Overall, we could not be more happy with how the day turned out. We had fans visit from 25 states, the weather was great and Pottsville was buzzing with excitement all day and night,” Debbie Yuengling said. “From the great street vendors and food trucks, to amazing live music, to topping the night off with tremendous fireworks, it was a great day in Pottsville.”
Contact the writer: 570-628-6007