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Dogwood Arts axes Farragut Festival


For the past several years, Farragut Festival on the Green was a sponsored part of the Dogwood Arts Festival.

Not any more.


Robin Nelson, executive director of the Dogwood Arts Festival, said the Executive Committee made the decision last year to take the financial axe to its sponsorship of the outlying festivals, such as Festival on the Green and the one in Fountain City.

“Over the last year or so, the Board did a lot of community surveys,” she said. “The surveys showed the Dogwood Arts festival name had become so diluted people didn’t really know what was and wasn’t part of the festival. It was just felt the Dogwood Arts Festival had become all things. There was no sense of identity.”

Nelson said the Board made the tough decision to reel in all the outlying festivals associated with the Dogwood Arts Festival for financial and identity

reasons.

“It was not an easy decision for the committee,” she said.

Marianne Morse, chairman of the 2006 Festival on the Green, said she was disappointed by the decision.

“I understand the decision, but I’m disappointed for the community,” she said.

Morse said the good thing was that Farragut would be the featured trail for the Dogwood Arts Festival.

Brian Tatum, WFIV-FM general manager, said his station provided entertainment for Festival on the Green.

“I’m disappointed we won’t be having it,” he said. “We might be working on something not for this year, but for the following year.”

Tatum said he heard the town was examining the possibility of giving the funding it planned for Festival on the Green to the Dogwood Arts Festival.

“From what I understand, I was told the mayor was still giving them the money,” Tatum said.

Farragut Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III said the money matter, $10,000, hasn’t come across the Board of Mayor and Aldermen agenda yet, but he was hopeful it would pass when the time comes.

“I know this is going to be a featured trail of the event,” he said. “They’re going to great lengths to publicize that and it’s a great honor for the town of Farragut to be in that position.”

Ford said there would be a couple of ceremonies taking place in Farragut as well as the Dogwood Arts Festival employees erecting signs for the trail.

Fares Schlank, owner of West Bicycles, said he plans to reinvent Festival on the Green in a different form.

“I had the idea for Festival on the Green years ago when I first came here as a new business,” he said. “It had real humble beginnings and started out as a bike race.”

He said it had a couple of vendors the first year and started to grow. Then the Dogwood Arts Festival offered its support and the Festival really grew.

Schlank said he started the festival once and could do it again.

 

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