RWB Jam goal: spark West End biz

Businesses along West End Avenue in Farragut are the initial targets for a new event, sponsored by Farragut Business Alliance, to boost their visability while inviting the public to enjoy a fun outing.

Red, White & Blues Jam, formerly labeled The Mini Event, is targeted “around July 8 … a Saturday after the Fourth of July,” Stephen F. Krempasky, FBA executive director, said during the alliance’s monthly third Thursday morning meeting, March 16, in Town Hall boardroom.

“Retailers would do a sidewalk sale. … Some of the restaurants there would pull stuff out,” Krempasky added.

Further elaborating about RWB Jam after the meeting, Krem-pasky said it also would include “four to five bands betweem 4 and 10 p.m. And they’ll be blues-based bands.”

Event activities may also include “everything from a cornhole competition to bounce houses,” Krempasky said during the meeting.

He also listed a few West End service-oriented, non-retail businesses also looking to participate.

“I asked Steve to reach out to West End [businesses] to see what their interest level was in participating, and obviously Steve has reported they are very interested in doing something,” Herc Ligdis, FBA president, said.

“They’re excited about it,” Krempasky said.

“This is a work in progress.”

Twenty Farragut businesses have signed up to serve as food vendors, according to an FBA list March 20, for Eighth Farragut Food & Wine Festival, which is set for Saturday, May 5, at Renaissance 1 farragut, 12700 Kingston Pike

Those businesses are Mario’s Pizza & Grill, The Shrimp Dock, The Cutting Edge Classroom, PUBLIX, First Watch, Dickey’s Barbeque Pit, Juice Bar, Newk’s, Costco, Seasons Café, Restaurant Linderhof, Tennova Medical Center Kitchens, Jet’s Pizza of Farragut, Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, Don Delphi’s Pancake House, Fox Den Country Club, Water Into Wine Bistro & Lounge, Longhorn Steakhouse, Gavino’s Pizzeria and Restaurant and VG’s Bakery.

The Casual Pint and Mind Yer P’s & Q’s, also Town businesses, are specially designated “beer and snacks vendors who join six area beverage companies who were signed as of March 20 to provide alcoholic drinks: Triple C, Knoxville Beverage, D & V Distributing, Lipman Bros., Best Brands and Empire Distributors [formerly B & T Distributors].

Ticket cost is $30 if purchased in advance, or $35 at the door. Children under age 12 cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Children under age 5 are admitted free.

Very Important Bites tickets, which include special dining under a tent with beer lounge, are $75.

Tickets are available online at and at Goin Postal, 11519 Kingston Pike and CH Interiors and Gifts, 12556 Kingston Pike. For more information, call 865-307-2486 or

The alliance voted unanimously to extend an invitation to possible event food vendors outside of Town limits, with four tents available as of March 20.

This would allow “some other upscale, sit-down type restaurants that cater to a Farragut audience, residents of Farragut,” Krempasky said.

Concerning other sponsors, Krempasky said, “Josh Hemphill State Farm is supplying 800 [goodie] bags and giving us $100. … As people leave the festival, we’ll hand out these goodie bags.”

In other business:

• announced that Farragut 13.1 “half-marathon,” set to begin Saturday morning, Oct. 28, would move its start and finish line to “the old Kroger parking lot” along Kingston Pike.

“They want to have a party atmosphere after everybody comes back in,” David Purvis, FBA member, said. “They’re trying to add a theme to it.”

Krempasky met with Knoxville Track Club officials “who are more excited than we could ever be” about 13.1, adding, “They would like us to solicit merchants to put tents up. They want beer there for sure.”

• Ligdis announced that FBA member Tony Cox, who was absent, had agreed to chair the alliance’s newly created “Shop Farragut Content Committee,” which would recommend “a way to redesign and make our app more user friendly. And make it easier for people to find [business] offers.”

[Cox is president of Republic Newspapers, Inc., parent company of farragutpress].

“One of the things we did was we created an Instagram page, because if you market to 20-somethings you don’t market through Facebook,” Ligdis added. “… Our constituency is not just made up of 40 and above.”

• Through graphic design work led by Tony Christen, production manager of farragutpress, a prototype FBA/Shop Farragut bro-chure was introduced and distributed for feedback “at a couple of [Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce] networkings,” Krempasky said.

“I want to thank Tony Christen at the farragutpress, he’s the production guy there. He helped make it look pretty,” Krempasky added. “And got things lined up to go to a printer.”

While possibly looking to edit the brochure design, members expressed various compliments and reservations. A final draft is expected to be ready by the next FBA meeting Thursday, April 20.

• Krempasky announced that FBA “now has over 300 businesses in our business directory. When I took over [last November] it was at 240.”