City belatedly gets around to releasing concrete information on Boomtown, summer concert series, etc.


Boomtown Ball.
Bicentennial Park Concert Series.
July 3 Fireworks at the Amphitheater.

You should know that for several weeks, questions about these city-sponsored events have been asked of the city by previous local vendors, and answered vaguely or incompletely, if answered at all.

Why is it so frustrating for these businesses not to get timely information? It’s because food and drink businesses like those involved in the past with these specially staged events must budget, make schedules, staff and plan ahead. They always have done so — and they have always come through and delivered for event attendees.

Only this week on Tuesday morning, as City Hall’s persistently poor communications skills started being discussed yet again, loudly and publicly on social media following the downtown merchant meeting, did the ice finally begin to thaw.

This morning I reported what (was) known about Boomtown amid the fog, and then later in the afternoon, through a miraculous and surely coincidental communications breakthrough, this press release (below) suddenly appeared.

In it, we learn the “preferred” and “professional” caterer’s name that David Duggins forgot to remember on Tuesday: It’s Festival Cuisine & Spirits, with a primary office in Louisville and a storage warehouse on Pearl Street in New Albany (note that this year, it’s beer and wine only at Boomtown).

All we’ve been told by the city in way of explanation is that the city placed alcoholic beverage catering in the hands of Louisville-based Production Simple, and Production Simple hired Festival Cuisine & Spirits.

Also, it is revealed for the first time publicly that while Boomtown’s primary components are Louisville based, localism will be observed during the Bicentennial Park Concert Series and July 3 Fireworks show, via something called the Downtown Bar and Restaurant Association.

Perhaps City Hall means the New Albany Restaurant & Bar Association, unless NARBA already has a rival non-profit. In this city, anything is possible.

And, as revealed previously, local bricks and mortar retailers will have their booth fees waived by the Louisville-based Flea Off Market, and that’s good news for retailers.

Why has Team Gahan sought so assiduously to make Boomtown such a Louisville-centric event, when local building blocks might be used — when the band curating the event, Houndmouth, hails from New Albany and environs?

That’s anyone’s guess. Maybe it’s Greg Fischer’s idea. So, read the tea leaves, break out that dusty Ouija Board and spin a bottle … or flip a coin. Mayor Jeff Gahan’s administration is the single most furtive, secretive and non-transparent administrative entity in living memory, as well as the one most willing to award credit to itself. In fact, the most surprising development this year came on April 9, when Gahan chose not to celebrate his victory over General Lee at Appomattox Court House.

Verily, we all have become dentists, merrily pulling teeth. Novocaine, anyone?