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10th Annual Winter Brew Festival Moves Outside Due To Omicron Variant

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The 10th year of Winter Brew is going to be the most unique one yet thanks to Omicron, but the show must go on.

Morning Insider Marissa Parra got a sneak peak.

The whole festival is moving outside.

"It's actually the first time in this neighborhood there's been a permit for an outdoor festival in February, said Maddy Fick, event coordinator at Bottles and Cans.

It's the first in-person Winter Brew in over two years.

"Kind of nervous but very excited," said Nicole Benjamin, Director of Special Events for Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

"For the last 10 years the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood festival favorite was inside at the German American Cultural Center.

"In 2020 we were able to do it in January," Benjamin said. "The pandemic didn't hit till later. Last year we didn't do Winter Brew at all. We did it at home and we did orders online and people could pick up six packs."

As Omicron shifted COVID back into our lives, organizers shifted the festival outside.

"We want to keep it safe, so we're bringing it outside to the streets," she said.

February in Chicago means you'll want to come prepared.

"It'll be a cold one," Benjamin siad. "But we're going to have heaters. Bundle up, layers."

"Bonfires, places for people to keep warm," said Fick.

They say a festival outside is better than none at all.

"It boosts all the sales in the area," said Fick. "People are out. They're eating. It helps the whole area to have something like this."

The festival runs Feb. 19 and Feb. 20 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will take place on Lincoln Avenue between Eastwood and Wilson so there is plenty of room for spacing out. Beverage and food tickets can be purchased on line or on site.

Organizers say they have signed at least 15 different hyper local breweries.

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