WEST JEFFERSON-A town once known for its teetotalism views will be the future site of a downtown beer festival.
During Monday’s West Jefferson Board of Aldermen meeting, Rebecca Lane updated town officials on the planning process for the inaugural Stomp and Brew Festival, which will be held in May 2018.
Organizer Rebecca Lane said the event will celebrate brewing in northwest North Carolina and will focus on the beer and winemaking process. Partnerships for the festival have already been born between Appalachian State University and Surry Community College.
“We hope to educate and bring awareness about the art of fermentation,” said Lane.
Tentatively, the festival is planned to be held in a lot near Badger’s Funeral Home and the Ashe Arts Council.
In an attempt to drum up local support, Lane said organizers are exploring the possibility of encouraging downtown businesses to offer discounts or other incentives to better engage customers and promote the festival.
Boondocks Brewing and Carolina Wines are also hosting VIP related packages to complement the event.
Police Chief Jeff Rose has also agreed to provide off-duty police officers as security for the one-day event.
Alderman Calvin Green took issue with the group’s choice of venue and reiterated the town’s suggestion to hold the event in the lot across from the art’s council. Lane said organizers have opted against that choice due to safety concerns. Lane also said Green’s suggestion to hold the event in the municipal park could prove problematic due to the prevalence of children in the area.
Green also expressed concerns over town parking for the event, as the annual tourism season usually begins in the spring.
Aldermen passed the event’s proposal as presented 4-1 with Green casting the lone dissenting vote.
In other business, the town agreed to renew its contract with Republic Services for garbage pickup for five more years.
Reach Jesse Campbell at (336) 846-7164.