When a vital member of a community passes away, there’s always a void that’s left behind. This void is usually made up of memories, feelings and thoughts from the ones who are still here while reflecting on the person who has left this plane of existence. Ask the folks who knew Dave Witham and they will definitely tell you that void exists at the Warwick brewery he co-founded at the Proclamation Ale Company located on 298 Kilvert Street. Rather than wallow in the depression and grief that comes with loss, the brewery has been making an annual effort to make sure that Witham’s legacy lives on. This effort is known as Daveapalooza and the second edition of it is taking place at Proclamation on July 16 starting at 12 noon.
The event is going to be an extravagant one with live music, a variety of food, skating for those who partake and all sorts of beer including special collaborations among other refreshments. It’s going to be happening all afternoon and it promises to be an ideal way to spend a Saturday.
“Proclamation Ale Co. will again be joining forces with Civil and Highroller Lobster Co. to throw the greatest party of the summer,” says Witham’s wife Lori who is the current owner & creative director of the brewery. “Our second annual Daveapalooza will be taking place in the Proclamation taproom, patio and parking lot. Collaboration beers with Civil, Highroller, Redemption Rock Brewing Co. and Oslo Brewing Co. will be available. There will also be beer slushies, hard kombucha and a number of our regular Proclamation favorites. The event will feature a half pipe for seasoned skaters, food from Highroller, Basil and Bunny, Butterhead, Ming’s Asian Street Food and The Wright Scoop along with live music and a ton of new merchandise.”
Supplying the live music will be the Providence metal act Burr, local alt-rockers Bedtime and another band yet to be announced as of press time. Bedtime is led by Sam McCaughey who also works at Proclamation as a server.
“It feels really special,” McCaughey says about the event. “The first year was kind of a belated celebration of life for Dave and this year it still is that but it’s also become a deeper part of the story of Proclamation. This event kind of sums up Dave as a person where we’re doing something wild, going hard and pulling it off to bring together a bunch of different things that he loved and all his friends. It feels really cool to be doing this again and we’ll continue to do it. For me specifically it’s awesome because Dave wasn’t just my boss, I considered him a friend and we bonded a lot over music.”
“He gave me a lot of advice, we’d always talk about which bands I was in,” he adds. “He was super gracious to let me go on tour while I was working with him, so to be able to play with the band I have now at a festival celebrating his life kind of pulls everything full circle. I’m really excited about that and it’s also Bedtime’s first gig, it’s a pretty new band with people I’ve been friends with for years. We came together about six to eight months ago and we’ve been writing, rehearsing while getting ready to record so it’s pretty special that this is going to be our first time playing these songs.”
Daveapalooza is free admission and it’s all ages so feel free to bring the entire family. Anyone that’s looking to skate will be vetted beforehand and made to sign a waiver. As you can tell, Dave Witham was a vital part of his brewery when he was alive and he was loved very much by a lot of people. That love is still felt and you can witness it when you come to Proclamation this Saturday afternoon. Raise a glass, enjoy some tasty food and celebrate the life of a stellar individual in the way he would want to be celebrated.
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