News and Tribune

Clark County

April 7, 2014

Thunder vending plans secured in Jeffersonville

Also: Steamboat Days schedule announced

JEFFERSONVILLE — Food vending arrangements for Thunder Over Louisville have been approved in Jeffersonville, with about a week to spare.

A one-year contract with Sivori Catering was given the OK recently, with the city getting 20 percent of sales. A three-year contract with the same catering service ended this year, but owner Larry Sivori threatened to pull out his offer for 2014 because of decreased vending space.

On a related matter, the Jeffersonville City Council on Monday approved an ordinance by a 5-3 vote that would prohibit vending during Thunder in front of the 600 block of West Riverside Drive. Council members Ed Zastawny, Connie Sellers and Council President Dennis Julius voted against the ordinance.

The restrictions on the block, where The Harbours Condominiums is located, further decreases the available vending space that was already limited by bridges construction.

Although the ordinance won’t officially go into effect for 30 days, Julius said vendors probably won’t sell there anyway.

“I don’t think we’re going to have time to get them anyway,” he said. “It’s kind of a moot issue, really.”

CHUGGIN’ ALONG

Steamboat Days Festival plans are coming together, with a preliminary schedule presented to the city council Monday.

Shane Corbin, Jeffersonville Planning and Zoning director who is in charge of Steamboat Days planning, said that the committee has tried to change the image of the event without completely rebranding it.

“One of the real challenges right off the bat that we were faced with was trying to change the image of the festival that went downhill and make sure that it was different and better than before, so we really wanted to get rid of that ... flea market stereotype and make it more of a cultural arts event,” Corbin said.

To help redefine Steamboat Days, the committee is being more selective in choosing artist vendors. Corbin said that some vendors said they wouldn’t sell if they had to compete with other vendors selling cheaper, lower quality art.

“Not that we want to make it difficult, but we want to have quality arts,” Corbin said.

The festival, from Oct. 17 to 19, is returning to Jeffersonville for the first time since 1999.

Despite the Louisville Waterfront Development Corp. significantly scaling back on its Centennial Festival of Riverboats because of budget cuts, Jeffersonville’s Steamboat Days will move forward. If Waterfront Development has to cancel its event altogether, an additional two days may be tacked onto Steamboat Days Festival to make up for the loss.

“We actually stand to benefit, even if they scale back,” Corbin said.

The event will also have demonstrating artists, such as blacksmiths forging bike racks and glassblowers, as well as various musicians performing rock, bluegrass and symphony shows on RiverStage.

Friday’s biggest show will be the 23 String Band and Saturday’s will be The Louisville Crashers.

Other events on the schedule include a beauty pageant, parade, run and family walk and a luncheon. The festival will span three blocks, from Maple Street to West Riverside Drive, with the main events on RiverStage.

The city council approved an additional $10,000 donation to Steamboat Days, adding to the $10,000 it had already committed.

Corbin said because of this $20,000 donation, both the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission and Urban Enterprise Zoning Association will each commit $20,000. That, in addition to other groups that have pledged money, would reach to just shy of the festival’s proposed $78,000 budget.

Steamboat Days pins will also be sold to help cover the costs of the event.

More information about the Steamboat Days Festival is available on jeffsteamboatdays.com.

 

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