ROCKINGHAM — Hoptoberfest is one of the most highly anticipated events each year in Richmond County, and with this being the fifth year of the event, it’s prepared to be bigger than ever with the move to Rockingham Speedway and Entertainment Complex.
With the excitement to an event five months away already building, tickets will go on sale Monday.
Richmond County Chamber of Commerce President Emily Tucker said Thursday that 1,200 tickets will be up for grabs this year, and that’s up from 750 sold in 2018. That number actually rose closer to 800, she said, with volunteers and vendors included.
General admission tickets for the Oct. 5 event will be $35 this year, with VIP access doubling that to $70, according to Tucker.
The move to the speedway was announced in early March by the Chamber, and Tucker put the reasoning behind the decision on the growth of the Richmond Plaza shopping center.
“It’s great timing with the purchase of the speedway by the new owners,” she said earlier this year. “They approached us, but we had been thinking about it ourselves with the timing. Frank Bloom has experience with beer festivals for 15 years so he has a lot of connections. It was a great partnership opportunity for the speedway and the Chamber. They want to bring these types of events to the speedway, and it’s a great way to bring the community an event out at the speedway.”
Tucker went on to say that with the improvements to the shopping center, the festival had outgrown the space. The Chamber is also looking to bring in more people to the area, with ticket sales this year doubling last year’s.
Bloom, who serves as the speedway’s vice president of events, sales and marketing, echoed Tucker’s words, saying they are also excited to be partnering with the Chamber on this event and are looking forward to seeing everyone attend another year of Hoptoberfest.
There are still plenty of opportunities for beer and wine vendors to sign up for this year’s festivities and can do so by going on the Chamber’s website.
Hoptoberfest is known as a beer festival first, but it wouldn’t be complete without the wing competition, and although no teams have officially signed up yet, Tucker said many of the past teams have contacted her office with interest in giving it a go again.
With more than 1,000 tickets available for purchase this year, Tucker said she expects this year’s attendance to approach 2,000 after vendors and volunteers are accounted for.
In addition to the event itself, anyone interested in representing Hoptoberfest via their clothing can purchase merchandise as well on the Chamber website. T-shirts ranging in sizes small to double XL are $15 each, hats are $20 each or pick up a shirt and hat for $30 while supplies last.
Anyone interested in buying Hoptoberfest tickets, apparel or who needs more information can call the Chamber at 910-895-5098. The office will open at 9 a.m. Monday, but Tucker advises to get tickets quick — especially VIP — as they will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.
And if past years are any indication, she said, tickets will go fast.