BERLIN – In an effort to bring more visitors to town, Berlin has added a new fall event to its schedule for 2017.
Along with longtime staples such as the bathtub races and Berlin Fiddlers Convention, at the request of the Atlantic Hotel’s John Fager the town’s calendar for the coming year will include the “Small Town Throw Down” the second Saturday in September. The council approved the event Monday.
“I think it’d be a nice fit for this town,” Mayor Gee Williams said. “I think the timing will almost accelerate our second season.”
Fager approached the Berlin Town Council with his plans for the new event Monday. He said that while the town’s existing events had proven extremely successful, he thought adding one in the early fall would complement the others. He said he was envisioning “Nashville comes to Main Street” with country bands and vendors. He said the layout of the stage would be the same as it was during the fiddlers convention.
“I think it’d be a lot of fun,” he said. “It’d be another feather in our cap.”
Fager said in addition to providing visitors with a different style of event, the “Small Town Throw Down” could also help raise money for the town’s Main Street program. Much of its efforts are supported financially by merchants who can’t always afford to do so.
“A lot of these businesses don’t have a lot of cash to throw in,” he said.
Williams praised the idea of a new event and said it could fill the lag that followed the Berlin Peach Festival in early August.
“Nashville is cool,” he said.
He added, however, that he was concerned about how the town would attract musical talent for the festival. Fager replied that he had sources and would look into it once he had the town’s approval. He said there were plenty of small bands that traveled throughout the year.
“Some of these small bands that are just starting out like to go on the road,” he said. “It won’t cost us a fortune.”
Councilman Troy Purnell said he thought it was a great idea. Williams agreed.
“I think it’d be an almost instant success,” he said.
Fager said he hadn’t had formal talks with the town’s other merchants but that those he’d mentioned the idea to had supported it. He said he expected the event to gain a lot of traction.
“It will be talked about,” he said.