Thursday, March 03, 2016

Smokin' on the River: "Fortunately for us, New Albany's a forward-thinking town, and they want to take it on."

We were on this one last week, and it looks like the Green Mouse scored.

Jeffersonville City Council pulls Smokin' on the River funding -- is a move to NA imminent?

Now the Jeffersonville newspaper's Elizabeth Beilman picks up the story.

Smokin' on the River is leaving Jeffersonville; New Albany considering taking over barbecue event

The scent of barbecue and the sound of live music won't waft over downtown Jeffersonville this June as it has for the past seven summers.

Smokin' on the River, the barbecue and blues festival that draws thousands to the Jeffersonville riverfront, has been discontinued this year because the city isn't funding the event.

"It's a nice event and we enjoyed hosting it, but we couldn't continue to lose money," Jeffersonville Parks and Recreation Director Paul Northam said.

Instead, founder Dan Skaggs said he's preparing for a likely move to New Albany.

"It's [Jeffersonville's] decision, unfortunately for me," Skaggs said. "Fortunately for us, New Albany's a forward-thinking town, and they want to take it on."

New Albany officials are exploring the possibility of taking on the event, looking into funding sources for hosting this year but also considering long-term absorption.

"We want it here because we love festivals, we love any opportunity to get people down on the riverfront that we can," New Albany City Councilman Al Knable said. "We love Harvest Homecoming, but that riverfront is down here 365 days a year."

Forward-thinking, at-large councilman Al Knable appears to have played an important role in lending an ear.

The festival would book local musicians from a variety of genres and allow local businesses to "have first crack" at vending, Knable said. He reached out to* (contacted) Skaggs after a Smokin' contestant called, asking if the festival could continue on this side of the river.

We're left with one big question: If Knable presented it to Jeff Gahan, can Jeff Gahan still take credit and "present" it to the rest of us?


(Ye gods, when will "reach out" finally go away?)

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