Nicole Cox of the chamber opened up the meeting and called on
various committee chairmen to offer updates on their portion of the
First to speak was Chris Graue representing the Up in Smoke, Kansas
City Barbecue competition and other barbeque activities. He was
followed by Bill Hoagland for Main Street Lincoln on the Art of
Wine; Dom Dalpoas of the Oasis on the Craft and Flea Market; and Jim
Loeffler for the Railsplitter Antique Auto Club. Additional events
discussed were tethered balloon rides, parade plans and a new
carnival at the airport.
Graue shared that some of the activities of the Up in Smoke will
take place in a new tent this year. He shared that in response to
comments about the Anything Goes Barbecue competition, the judging
will this year take place at the tent. He said this will allow for
more public viewing of the exhibits and judging.
In past years, this judging has taken place at the Lincoln
Firehouse, but the space there is limited, and the public has not
been able to view the entries easily or watch the judging. With this
move, Graue said those who want to come and watch will have a better
In addition, the tent will be used by this year’s guest host Mark
DeCarlo. DeCarlo is a contributor to Windy City Live in Chicago as
well as a food expert correspondent for the Huffington Post. He does
a web podcast and has hosted a number of food festivals. In 2013, he
appeared at the Taste of Chicago, Taste of St. Louis, National
Buffalo Wing Festival, Taste of Philadelphia, Palm Desert Food and
Wine Festival, Iowa Premier Food, and the Windy City Wine Festival,
to name a few. Included in his appearances he does food comedy
routines and hosts a comedic cooking contest. Graue said as part of
the agreement, DeCarlo is currently promoting the Lincoln festival
on his pod casts.
Graue also reported that to date; there are 40 contestants
registered for the Up in Smoke barbecue competition. He said 18 of
those are new this year. Last year there was a total of 43 entrants.
Graue said many contestants wait until the last minute to register,
so he fully expects this will be the largest contestant field ever
for the competition.
This year the Art of Wine tent will be moving from Kickapoo Street
to Broadway. Hoagland explained the wine tent will be larger this
year. Broadway is a wider street than Kickapoo and will be better
able to accommodate the new 8,000 square foot tent. The tent will
still have the guest services area where festival goers can stop in
for a break without purchasing a wrist band.
The main stage for entertainment will be located in the intersection
of Broadway and McLean, with the guest services area being on the
end closest to the stage.
Craft and Flea Market
Dom Dalpoas of the Oasis offered up a report on the Craft and
Flea Market that will be held in Scully Park. As of the luncheon on
July 30th, he said all but three spaces were filled in the park.
Chamber director Andi Hake told Dalpoas that if he gets his spaces
filled and still has people requesting a booth, the chamber will
find a place for them.
Hake also explained that this year the Oasis is handling the flea
market alone. She said in the past, the chamber has partnered with
the Oasis. This year Dalpoas and his staff are doing it all.
In Latham Park, 47 artists had signed up for booths.
Cox said there are several new artists this year. She is hoping to
have more artists sign up within the weeks before the festival.
New in the park this year will be a VIP tent for the artists. Hake
said the new tent was being provided by the Lincoln Best Western.
The Chamber information tent will be moved out of the park and
relocated to the intersection of Kickapoo and Pulaski Streets.
Jim Loeffler with the Railsplitter Antique Auto
Club said that “good weather provided,” he is expecting this year’s
Sunday car show to be quite large. He said the club shows in general
have grown this year, and he foresees a good turnout. In addition,
he said the club would offer more trophies and door prizes to draw
in more participants.
Because the Art of Wine is moving to Broadway, the car show will
horseshoe around the square utilizing Kickapoo, Pulaski, and McLean
Streets. Loeffler asked about the use of McLean Street north of
Broadway for overflow if he should have it. Hake said that could be
done by keeping that street closed on Sunday.
[to top of second column]
Tethered balloon rides
New this year in the downtown
area will be a tethered balloon ride. The ride will be set up in a
vacant lot on North Hamilton, behind the Lincoln Christian Church
parking lot. Hake said the pilot is coming in from Louisiana and is
very excited about offering this new feature. This ride will not be
with a handicap accessible basket, but Hake said there would be two
ADA rides at the airport.
It starts with a parade
Martinek talked about the Friday afternoon parade. The parade ribbon
cut will take place at 3:15 p.m. on Wyatt Avenue. The parade route
will be the same as last year.
This year there will be multiple grand marshals for the parade. The
first will be Dom Dalpoas of the Oasis. Also, the winners from last
year’s art, barbeque and balloon pilot competitions will each be
honored as grand marshals.
Hake commented on this saying last year the fire at the Oasis
building occurred late June, but the Oasis was still able to
organize and pull off a very successful flea market event just 50
days later. She said for all that Dalpoas and the Oasis had been
through in the last year, she felt the honor was much deserved.
Fun events at the airport
Patrick Doolin offered an update
on what will be going on at the airport. There will be a new
carnival company providing rides. The wrestling event has been taken
out, but the Wisconsin Kiters are returning. Doolin said they had
considered that while the wrestling was popular with some, the
activity itself did not speak well of the community. He mentioned it
was a contradiction for young people watching who saw people
standing in the ring beating each other up, then walking into the
tent area as friends.
Cox said she is still working on trying to get one more new item at
the airport, a petting zoo. She said right now they aren’t having
much luck finding anyone available for that weekend, but they are
still looking. She added there will also be some new food vendors at
Hake added there will be an
outstanding line up of live bands at the airport this year as well.
She mentioned specifically Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack, and
Jeff Sable of Sable-Country.
Transportation plans and down town parking
This year there
will be a number of street closings. There will be the main corridor
established between Latham and Scully Parks with McLean Street being
closed from just in front of the Lincoln Christian Church at Latham
Park south to Clinton Street and Scully Park. Clinton Street will be
closed on the very west end at Scully Park. From Scully to Latham
Park, Kickapoo will also be closed. Broadway Street will be closed
from just east of Chicago Street to McLean. Pulaski Street will be
closed from Chicago Street to South Hamilton.
Street closures will begin on Thursday afternoon, with many of the
streets being completely closed off by Friday morning and staying
closed through Sunday.
The downtown trolley service will be offered again this year with
pick-up points at corners of Clinton and South Kickapoo near Scully
Park and the corners of North Kickapoo and Pekin Street near Latham
The shuttle service will run from the old Wal-Mart Parking lot to
the downtown area and to the airport. The shuttle stop in the
downtown area will be at the corner of Chicago and Pulaski Streets.
The downtown trolley will also have a pick-up point at the same
location for those getting on and off the shuttle.
Downtown parking will be limited. The parking lot behind Guzzardo’s
on Clinton Street will be open as will the parking lot at the
library on Pekin Street. The city lot on the west side of Latham
Park will be open as well. Street side parking will be offered
around Latham Park and most of Scully Park.
The group also discussed downtown construction projects and how the
festival may change in 2015. Those topics will be covered in part
two of this article.
[By NILA SMITH]