Cancelled beer and taco festival in Milton leaves organizers, customers disappointed


Published March 27, 2023 at 3:16 pm

A food and beer festival planned for May in Milton has been cancelled and the organizer said he’s just as disappointed as local residents.

“I never want to cancel an event,” said Faron Benoit, “but I’d rather do it early, and give people time to make other plans, than do it last minute.”

The I Heart Beer and Taco Festival was scheduled to be held Saturday, May 13, at Sherwood Community Centre.

Benoit said there were several factors that led to the cancellation.

“Our main festival season is winter and the further you get into spring, the harder it is to get things like vendors and staff,” said Benoit.

“I was hesitant to do an event that late, but we gave it a shot. But we couldn’t guarantee enough food vendors to ensure it was going to be a success.”

Beer vendors haven’t been a problem. Benoit said the real challenge has been confirming food vendors.

“Things have changed since the pandemic. It used to be people came for the beer, and the food was secondary, but now it seems the other way around.”

The pandemic also affected the vendors themselves, with many of his regulars having closed or are suffering from staff shortages.

“If we don’t have proper taco vendors, not a good event. I’d rather cut it now, giving people lots of notice. Our last event in Ottawa and it was okay, but not great.”

Milton isn’t ideal for venues to hold an event this big, according to Benoit, who went out of his way to compliment how helpful Milton staff was in making arrangements.

“We usually hold these events in convention centres or Ontario Hockey League arenas. Our power draw is pretty big. So it’s quite limited where we can do it in Milton.”

Benoit said they’d try to book an event earlier next winter. As for refunds for people who have already purchased tickets, he said they’re on the way.

“All of that has been processed automatically. Customers have been notified and it should all be done in seven to 10 business days.”

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