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Wine Festival Needs Food Vendors

Posted by wlpo on March 19, 2011

Despite hesitation by some city council members, plans are moving forward for the inaugural Ottawa Two Rivers Wine and Jazz Festival.

The Ottawa Visitor’s Center is accepting applications from area restaurants and catering services for vendor sites at the June 4th and 5th festival in downtown Ottawa.  Especially being sought are vendors able to provide food that compliments a glass of wine.  The vendor fee is 200 dollars.

At a city council meeting earlier this week, Finance Commissioner Dan Aussem said the city “shouldn’t be in the business of planning festivals”.  Aussem is concerned that the event could be washed out or fail to make a profit saying he doesn’t want to risk 70 thousand dollars in taxpayer money.  He and Commissioner Dale Baxter both said they wished the city was just host of the festival and not the prime funding source.

Mayor Bob Eschbach says he’s confident the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association will put on a successful event and that barring bad weather, the festival will at least break even.  The estimated cost of the festival is 72 thousand dollars with the winery association giving the city nearly 12 thousand dollars up front.

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