CLINTON — The Sawmill Museum is trying a new way to encourage people to visit and to raise money for operating costs.

"The committee all kind of liked going to tasting events," Executive Director Matt Parbs said Tuesday. The committee hopes next week's Food and Beverage Fest will bring new audiences to the museum.

The event is a chance for area vendors and local restaurants to show off their products and remind residents what they have to offer while the museum raises money for continued longterm planning, Parbs said.

"We are up to, I think, 21 or 22 businesses" scheduled for the event, he said.

Businesses will come from Clinton and DeWitt, but also from more distant places such as Des Moines and Wisconsin, said Parbs. "We just picked up a brewery from Mississippi."

"They all have local connections," Parbs said, adding that some were founded by people from the Clinton area. "Or they are familiar with our markets."

Hy-Vee sells products from many of the vendors and gave the museum a list of businesses that might want to take part in the museum fundraiser.

Rather than scheduling the event for the weekend when restaurants are busy, the museum chose Thursday, Jan. 17, from 6-9 p.m. It also wanted to scheduled the event during the winter.

"People kind of want to get out of the house," Parbs said.

The festival will feature diverse foods and beverages, Parbs said.

"It's kind of a mix of greatest hits and new items," he said. "It's going to be a really good mix of food and beverages."

The museum's expenses for the event will be low, Parbs said, because vendors are bringing nearly everything they need to serve their food and beverages. The only expenses to the Sawmill Museum were the Class C liquor license and marketing. The lead sponsor, The Insurance Group, is helping underwrite those costs, Parbs said.

Tickets are $20 in advance from the museum or $25 at the door. Admission includes viewing the exhibits and tasting what vendors have to offer, Parbs said.

Vendors include Wide River Winery, Krumpets, Luigis, Hy-Vee, DeAnna's Java Station, Rastrelli's, Sweetheart Bakery, Kris's Cookies, Lyons Filling Station, Buffalo Bill BBQ Chuckwagon, Stockyard Bar and Grill, Candlelight Inn, Skyline Microgreens, Corner Deli, Buchanan House Winery, Mississippi River Distillery Co., 21 Chop House/Urban Eats and Fujiyama Japanese Steakhouse.

The Sawmill Museum is located at 2231 Grant St. in Clinton.

A native of Centerville, Winona comes to the Clinton Herald after writing for the Ottumwa Courier for two years.