Photo by Julianne Baker
Searcy Beats and Eats and Harding’s Arts and Life Series collaborated to host Kilts and Coffee last Friday, Oct. 21, with community vendors and Celtic-themed entertainment.
The organizations teamed up for the first time last fall for an event called Java and Jazz, which was successful enough to prompt them to do another similar event, according to Dr. Jay Walls, the Arts and Life Series director.
“Last year … we had a great crowd, and we worked together really well with Beats and Eats,” Walls said. “I think everyone involved in it has loved seeing Harding’s community and the citizens from Searcy coming together for [events] like this.”
The Kilts and Coffee headliner was Julie Fowlis, the lead singer of Disney’s “Brave” soundtrack, and her band, who performed various Celtic songs in Gaelic. Other entertainment included a bagpiper, fiddlers and Irish dancers.
Along with the Celtic entertainment, the event featured coffee from five local coffee shops, including Imago Dei, Mr. Postman, Perk and Post, Midnight Oil and Slader’s Alaskan Dumplings. Punch cards could be bought for $5 to get a 4-ounce sample from each coffee vendor, who all had a selection of drinks from their shop and some Irish-themed drinks for the event. There were also six baking vendors, including Sassy Sweets, Wildflour Bakery, Creme and Sugar, Warehouse 4, Cheesecake on Point and Joyful Baking Co.
Graduate student Laurel Beshirs, a barista at Mr. Postman’s, was working at their booth during Kilts and Coffee. She said the shop featured one of its specialty lattes called the “Nutty Irishman” to fit the event theme.
“It was fun to see the Searcy coffee shops come together for an event like this,” Beshirs said. “It was fun to see so many different faces, both young and old. And of course, it was so fun to hear the singer from ‘Brave’ perform — I felt like I was watching the movie.”
Beats and Eats co-director Marka Bennett said that for planning an event like Kilts and Coffee, her organization was in charge of procuring the vendors, location, decorations and security, while Arts and Life was in charge of everything related to the entertainment, like finding performers and setting up the stage and sound equipment.
“We provide the party,” Bennett said. “Our part of it is the planning and execution of the entire event.”