More than 250 people attended the inaugural Good Life Fest, held May 8 at the Belfast Armory.

Among the 62 vendors and exhibitors at the event were members of Project M, on hand to collect hair and wool clippings to donate toward national efforts to soak up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. David Carlson, owner of Three Tides Restaurant and Marshall Wharf Brewery, shaved off his signature mutton chops and donated them to the cause.

Paul Drowns, director of comestibles and resident chef at the Newforest Institute, was one of several chefs offering demonstrations in the kitchen. Drowns cooked Andalucian meatballs in a turmeric almond sauce, and discussed the merits of farm-to-table cooking.

Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Janet Dutson said the event was a success and it accomplished her goal of reinforcing the Belfast brand.

“It attracted people to Belfast during the shoulder season, when visitor travel is light,” said Dutson. “It created a great footing to grow the event. I was thrilled with the energy.”

Dutson said she received positive feedback from both attendees and exhibitors. One exhibitor, in a written thank-you note to Dutson after the Good Life Fest, called the event “a great reminder of how important and invigorating it is to get out and interact with our community.”