By MELINDA WILLIAMS
It lost money the first year and somewhat broke even last year, so the town of Pulaski is hoping the third time will be the charm for its annual Grand Slam Bluegrass Festival.
Town Council has authorized staff to proceed with holding the event on May 18 this year in hopes the weather will be cooler than the past two years.
Heat has been a factor affecting attendance at the first two festivals. The 2011 festival was held on an August afternoon, but council decided to move it to an evening in June for 2012, hoping the temperature would be cooler. Much to the town’s chagrin, though, the day ended up being one of the hottest days on record in decades.
Town Manager John Hawley said about 170 people braved the excessive heat, which topped 100 degrees, to hear the musicians perform.
Council authorized the spending of up to $10,000 on the first festival and then dropped the appropriation to $4,000 for 2012. Hawley said fundraising efforts enabled the 2012 festival to clear about $1,000, but when staff time is figured into the equation the festival probably just broke even.
Town Council agreed Tuesday night to authorize the spending of up to $4,000 on the Grand Slam event. Several council members said they would like to see promotions extended outside the county as much as possible this year to try to draw people from outside the immediate area.
Hawley said Joe Wilson, one of the founders of The Crooked Road, has agreed to help the town with promotions and planning for the May festival. Dr. John McElroy of Pulaski also has agreed to help again this year.