Local Food, Ontario Wine and Craft Beer – these are a few of Sarnia Lambton’s favorite things! The 5th Annual Fusion held on November 7th and 8th at a new location, Degroots Nurseries, was a spectacular success. With 10 additional vendors and nearly 1000 more guests than in 2013, the event was by far the most successful of any Fusion in our five year history!

With the World Under 17 Hockey Tournament having chosen Sarnia’s RBC Centre as their venue this year, LCDS was required to find an alternate location for the 2014 Fusion. Degroots Atrium proved to be a wonderful site for Ontario wineries, craft breweries and local food producers to offer over 3200 guests the opportunity to discover and appreciate their products. A new element of Fusion this year, the Creative County Challenge, encouraged chefs and local producers to partner and showcase local items in their samples. Attendees were given the opportunity to vote on their favorite creations, and the winners were Copper Kettle Catering and Alton Farms Estate Winery for their martini chicken in white wine sauce!

The Culinary Stage was a focal point throughout both evenings, with Food Network Canada’s David Adjey incorporating local pheasant from Uplands Pheasantry, Munro Honey, Twin Pines Cider and Alton Farms Estate Wines in his demonstrations. Local Chef Paresh Thakkar of Personal Touch Catering and Chef Mike Barnes of Eclipse Catering provided demonstrations with commentary from hosts Jason McMichael and Sarah Woodley of the Fox FM Morning Show.

On the music stage, local musicians Nic Swales, Chris Molyneaux, Mike Blackmore, Erika and Sarah and Adam Miner kept the atmosphere fun and upbeat.

Fusion 2014 welcomed back local vendors who have supported us right from the first year, such as Munro Honey, Twin Pines Cider, The Coffee Lodge and Catering by Kitchen Creations. The first year of Fusion welcomed 650 guests, compared to 3300 this year, which represents 500% growth in attendance. Thank you to these local businesses who stuck with us!

Fusion welcomed 16 first time vendors in 2014, such as Refined Fool Brewery, Kel’s Restaurant, Smackwater Jacks, Matteo’s Pizza, Copper Kettle Catering, Guild Chocolates and Eclipse Catering. We are confident that Fusion will continue to grow and attract new vendors and attendees in years to come!

Fusion would not be a success without the support of so many generous sponsors in our community. An enormous “Thank you” goes out to major sponsors RBC Royal Bank, Kelgor, County of Lambton and City of Sarnia.

The success of this year’s show is especially rewarding to the Fusion Planning Committee, some of whom have been volunteering their time since 2009 when planning for Fusion began. Fusion 2014 raised over $50,000 for LCDS, thanks to their dedication, perseverance and hard work. The Committee wishes to thank all of the volunteers who assisted at Fusion! “Cheers” to a job well done!


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