Delray continues to lose award winning events, festivals


By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Another Delray Beach festival has been pulled from the calendar.
The Fifth Annual Delray Beach Wine & Seafood Fest will not take place on Nov. 11 and 12.
The Chamber of Commerce’s event received provisional approval from the city to hold the event at Old School Square Park on July 6.
But in a letter dated July 27 from the event producer Nancy Stewart-Franczak to the city said, “However, given the remaining time prior to the intended November date of the event, we were not confident we would be able to produce an event at the quality level that we and the City of Delray Beach desired for 2016.”
She said the chamber has been working since March to plan a smaller, more upscale version of the festival, which has been held on East Atlantic Ave.
The event would require no road closures, which has been something city commissioners have been advocating for. Commissioners have been working on updating the city’s special events policy. We will outline the new policy in an upcoming edition once it is formally adopted.
The Wine and Seafood event is a fundraiser for the chamber and has brought in about $40,000 for the group. Old School Square will lose out on money it was poised to receive from hosting the event. It is unclear when the event will return.
The city lost Garlic Fest earlier this year to Palm Beach County’s John Prince Park.
Craft and art festival producer Howard Alan has also agreed to scale back the number of events he puts on in Delray.
He has eliminated three downtown craft festivals in order to host the Downtown Delray Beach Thanksgiving Weekend Art Festival on Nov. 26 and 27, and the Downtown Delray Beach Festival of the Arts, Jan. 21 and 22, 2017.
Stewart-Franczak said she is still planning to bring staple Delray Affair and the Bacon and Bourbon fest to the city despite the proposed price hike from the city. The city wants to charge $45,000 for Bacon and Bourbon, which cost $10,000 this year and charge $119,000 for the Delray Affair, which cost $44,000 this year.
The proposed price hikes have caused sticker shock, but commissioners are leaning toward making sure the city recoups all its costs.
The new policy will help define what a special event is, where it can take place and how much it will cost the event producer. The guidebook and associated events’ rules will likely be approved this month by commissioners.
Some of the events that won’t take place in Delray this year recently took home awards during the Florida Festivals & Events Association annual convention and trade show.
Garlic Fest won first place for best commemorative poster, second place for best photo and third place for best website. The Bacon and Bourbon Fest won first place for best photo, second place for best Facebook campaign and second place for best website.
Garlic Fest will still have a tie to Delray despite the location change. Delray Beach resident and business owner of Tradition Tattoo Rebecca Loveless designed the artwork for the event. She created the painting “Big Garlic,” which was inspired by a classic Allman Brothers album cover, “Eat a Peach.”
Charcoal, acrylic, and watercolor were all used in its creation. Loveless incorporated a band, balloons, and even a tiny picket fence. Small flowers, fluffy clouds, and lots of love fill the canvas that transports the viewer to an idealistic and fantastical land including a subtle representation that the “Big Garlic” party was moving north. The event will take place Feb. 10-12.