Chamber plans public forum on future of BBQ Festival

Published 10:00 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

The Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce and the BBQ Festival Executive Committee recently met to discuss this years’ event and the fact that, in a nutshell, it made no money this year. 

“Lower attendance this year resulted in this situation,” said Christina Feagan, event coordinator since 2010. “Each year the chamber looks for new ways to improve the festival-goers’ experience, and it gets better every year. However, the festival has experienced a decrease in attendance over the last four years from 20,000 down to 10,000. Now we are looking at several ways that we can cut down on expenses for next year’s festival, so that this event can continue to be a successful fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce.” 

The committees are putting their resources together to bring new ideas to the table and they are looking for input from the community.   

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The BBQ Festival Steering Committee has planned for an open forum for interested individuals who would like to bring positive ideas and enthusiasm and help to plan the future of this event.

“Volunteers are the backbone of this event,” said Allison Gillespie, chair of the festival. “Volunteers in chair positions last from three to five years, and then we need replacements. There are some vacant chair positions in the areas of crafters and sponsorship. Being a part of this huge event is a labor of love, and many have worked in chair positions for years. We have such generous community-minded people in this area, and they love this festival, and want to be a part of it.”

This festival went through reorganization in 2010 and came out on top, and it’s time to do this again.  If you would like to attend this open forum, please plan on attending. We welcome you to bring your positive ideas to our table. Light refreshments will be provided. It will be held in the Chamber of Commerce conference room on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 5:30 p.m., 2753 Lynn Rd., Tryon N.C. 

“The goal of the Chamber is to seek to improve our quality of life here, uniting our towns through the strength of our business community; and as a resource of information on recreation, education, quality healthcare, a broad range of arts, equestrian, history, and tourism,” said Kathy Toomey, president of the board of directors.

The Chamber’s 360 members believe in our success, and show their support and involvement by joining the organization that has been here since 1927. The Chamber is the strongest advocate for business, and membership provides a pool of business owners and leaders that govern the organization.

The success of the BBQ Festival is vital to the operation of the Chamber of Commerce, and also the Chamber Foundation, which has given $160,432 in grants and field rental for the BBQ Festival to Harmon Field and the Town of Tryon alone. Another $26,000 has been granted to other non-profits and charities in our community.

The Chamber also holds other fundraisers including the Business Expo, Gibbs Golf Tournament, Shuckin’ & Shaggin’ Seafood Party, and will be taking on the Harmon Field Music Festival in 2017.   

Call 828-859-6236 for more information.

– article submitted by Janet Sciacca