By DAVID A. MANN
JEFFERSONVILLE — This year, let there be beer.
The city of Jeffersonville just released its schedule for RiverStage — the floating Ohio River venue off Riverside Drive — and 2011’s Smokin’ on the River event is being dubbed a “Barbecue, Blues and Brew Festival.”
The new title is being used as this year’s event will feature a local beer tasting tent, confirmed Sara Schutz, assistant superintendent of special events and RiverStage for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Six local breweries — including New Albanian Brewing Co. and Bluegrass Brewing Co. — are expected to offer two brews each for the tent. Part of the fun will be pairing different beers with the varying takes on barbecue at the event, Schutz said.
Of course, those interested shouldn’t start drooling yet. There’s still a fireworks show and a horse race between now and the June 18 event.
Smokin’ on the River is a two-day barbecue contest that takes place on the riverfront, near the stage. It got started in 2009 and has been sanctioned as a state qualifier for national barbecue contests.
On a related note, the Jeffersonville City Council will soon decide on funding for the 2011 RiverStage season during its next meeting Monday.
Schutz said $250,000 was budgeted but nothing has been appropriated yet. She’s proposed a $172,000 budget in lieu of that to cover concerts, movies, advertising, labor and more this season. Councilman Ed Zastawny indicated funding could come out of economic development income tax or gaming revenue.