Businesses respond to FBA call for FF & Wine fest help; others sought

On top of seeking Town restaurant participation, recruiting a big chunk of Farragut’s entire business community to volunteer in 8th Annual Farragut Food & Wine Festival presented by TDS, with a few businesses already ex-pressing enthusiasm to send volunteers, could be a win for all involved.

“I want to get retailers and other people involved in this festival. People that have nothing to do with food. But if it drives people to their business to pick up tickets, I think that would help encourage the whole festival,” Stephen F. Krempasky, Farragut Business Alliance executive director, said during FBA’s monthly meeting Thursday morning, Jan. 19, in Town Hall boardroom.

The festival returns to Renaissance | Farragut, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, May 5 rain or shine. Krempasky met with officials from “Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, and they said they would supply volunteers” along with Hampton Inn by Hilton, another Krempasky contact. “They said, ‘whatever you need.’”

“I love the idea of trying to find ways to engage non-restaurant businesses in the event. Our goal is to promote all businesses in the town of Farragut,” said Herc Lidgis, FBA president. “So getting them involved in some way, shape or form in this event is critical.”

To further promote Town businesses “and recognize our sponsors” at the festival, Krempasky said he met with a TDS official “and I brought up the idea … ‘could you coordinate having TVs, if I could get the TVs, into each tent and the VIPs tent, it would be an ongoing presentation? The Town could have a little blurb, 30 seconds, we could have 30 seconds and then the sponsors are recognized on different levels on TVs.”

Krempasky said if any “food supplier” is interested in festival participation, FBA would supply “two electrical outlets, but they have to bring a source of heat other than electrical if they need it. They have to bring a fire extinguisher. We supply them tables and chairs and tents. There are four food vendors and a distributor of alcohol in each tent. And there are six tents located on the property out at Renaissance scattered around.

“They need to bring enough food samples for 800 people,” Krempasky added. “We hope to have 1,000 to 1,200 people. There’s been traditionally 26 to 30-something booths.”

Louise Povlin, board member and Town alderman, suggested “giving a deadline date for our Farragut restaurants. If we don’t have enough, we can go outside of Farragut restaurants.”

“I would like to suggest a March 15 cutoff,” said Tony Cox, president of Republic News-papers, Inc., parent company of farragutpress. “That gives us two months to recruit. … To actually have a significant list of participants in place, ready to go … then that will spark people going to local businesses to purchase the tickets.”

There is no registration fee to be a vendor. New to this year’s event will be live entertainment, featuring The Coveralls.

To learn more or offer to volunteer, e-mail the Alliance at

In other FBA business:

• discussed moving Art in the Park from April to September.

• Reviewed Shop Farragut holiday campaign results. “There were over 50 businesses that finally participated one way or another with Shop Farragut. It was about the same as last year and in previous years,” Krempasky said.

• Krempasky and Cox presented a sample brochure for potential distribution throughout Town, subject to board approval, that would serve to explain and clarify benefits from Shop Farragut promotion. “It helps put in writing our elevator speech, what we really are,” Krempasky said.

“We, as a board and as an organization, haven’t done a real good job of making sure that people are engaged in Shop Farragut,” Cox said. “… I don’t know that people understand that there are benefits to what we do.”

• discussed modifying Shop Farragut light green logo on its new business promotion signage, with a few board members suggesting the logo needs to be more distinct and “eye popping” when viewed by motorists.