Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Beer garden may be on tap for town festival

The Jonesborough Days and Nights Festival, scheduled for this summer, will look and sound a lot different than it has in previous years.
Big-name entertainers, including country music legend Ricky Skaggs, are expected to give the festival a boost in attendance and quality. George Shinn, a local restaurant owner and former NBA team owner, secured Skaggs and gospel group The Whites to perform at the festival through his TruLight Foundation.
The organization was founded by Shinn last year to “carry out a mission of service to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the people of the world and to promote a healthy and cancer-free lifestyle through nurturing the body, mind and spirit,” according to its website.
Now, it appears the organization also wants to bring a beer garden to the festival for the first time in its history.
According to Jonesborough Special Events Coordinator Melinda Copp, Shinn’s organization has requested to have a beer tent set up at the festival in order to secure a national beer sponsor.
According to Copp, Foundation leaders are hoping the beer sponsor will cover the “substantial” cost of bringing the entertainment in for the festival.
Town Administrator Bob Browning reports that leaders have been considering the beer tent and believe it would be “feasible” without negatively impacting the festival’s image as a “family event.”
According to Browning, the beer tent would be located close to the concert stage, which will be set up in the parking lot behind the old courthouse on Main Street.
With that in mind, town staff is recommending the beer tent be located in the parking lot of the Parson’s Table, located behind the courthouse lot.
“We can allow the beer tent or beer garden in the Parson’s Table lot and have substantial control,” Browning writes in his report. “There will have to be a designated area to drink on-premise, and it will have to be fenced or a clear boundary established.”
Beer purchased at the tent would have to be consumed there, he added.
At their April 9 meeting, members of the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen were expected to consider, on first reading, allowing on-premise beer consumption under certain conditions at special events like the Jonesborough Days and Nights Festival.
Shinn’s group is also reportedly considering filming Skaggs’ performance and syndicating it on cable channels, a move that leaders say would be “really good for Jonesborough.”