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Annual Foam at the Dome fundraiser to return to capitol grounds

Jun 09, 2023

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The community is coming together again under the dome at the state capitol to raise a toast for the area’s urban development efforts.

Charleston’s largest beer festival, Foam at the Dome 2023 will take place this Saturday, July 22 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. along the Kanawha Boulevard in front of the capitol. The event was postponed on its original set date of May 13 due to severe weather.

Charleston Main Streets Executive Director Ric Cavender said historically, over 200 craft beers are on tap during the event, with every West Virginia brewery being represented and several more from across the country.

“Craft beers, even more of the domestic beers, you know, if you’re into more of the simple domestic beers we have those as well, ciders, seltzers, the list is pretty vast,” said Cavender.

All of the proceeds go to the event host, Charleston Main Streets, a centralized economic and community development nonprofit that’s focused on continual revitalization efforts to the city’s East End and West Side.

Since the inception of Foam at the Dome in 2016, the event has raised over $192,000 towards that revitalization.

However, Cavender said that during Covid-19, while local businesses were shutting down around the country, Charleston was seeing the opposite– more businesses were opening in the area. He said the closures of those businesses didn’t come until later, and they now continue to see an ebb and flow as a result.

“We’re seeing some of that residual now, two, three years out from Covid,” Cavender said. “We’ve seen a couple of businesses close, we have a couple of vacant buildings, but we are also seeing some buildings that have been vacant for a long time, we’re seeing leases getting signed, new businesses slowly filling back up again.”

Along with supporting the development and success of local businesses, Charleston Main Streets also works toward public space enhancement.

One of their major projects that’s currently underway is the West Side Lighting Initiative, which will replace all of the lamp posts in the Elk City district on the West Side with new LED lights.

After the project was announced last August, it’s currently in the engineering phase, and Cavender said it will not only improve the aesthetic enhancement of the area but the safety, as well.

Cavender said most of the murals in that area are also projects of the organization’s design.

“Those are the types of projects we undertake to make Charleston stand out from other cities, to make them feel like a destination, be a destination,” he said.

The Foam at the Dome event is the organization’s major fundraising initiative that helps raise money to undertake such projects, as well support and celebrate West Virginia’s growing local craft brewing industry.

In addition to the 200 types of beer and 70 different breweries expected to be at Saturday’s event, eight food vendors and 20 different artisans will also be on hand. Local DJ Charlie Blac will also be there providing the music on the City National Bank Stage.

Cavender said the event only gets bigger every year, welcoming in between 1,800 to 2,300 people from across 16 states, with the focus on getting their support to help enhance the area.

“Our goal and our mission is to enrich the local business community, to encourage people to not only shop local but to live local, be local, be local as you possibly can,” Cavender said.

Tickets for the event are $45 for general admission and $55 for special early access. There is also a special designated driver admission that’s $20. People are encouraged to purchase tickets on their site as they go up $5 at the door.

The entrance to the event will be at Greenbrier Street.