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Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 9:00 AM
FAIRFIELD — Beer will be sold at a concert series in Fairfield Village Green for the first time, but only on a trial basis in an attempt to attract millennials to the city, officials said.
Fairfield City Council still has to vote on allowing beer only to be sold at the Fourth Friday on the Green concert series. A council vote is scheduled for May 26.
During the proposal presentation at council’s work session Monday, all members were supportive of giving it a try, but it wasn’t an easy decision to come to for some.
“I was a little bit against it at first simply because it was Village Green, because that is a family facility,” said Vice Mayor Craig Keller. “But seeing the plan here, as a pilot program, it seems pretty controlled to me so I guess it’s changed my mind. Let’s give it a try.”
Fairfield Community Arts Center Manager Heidi Schiller said the city’s parks department was challenged with creating an event to attract and engage young professionals to the city.
The parks staff developed the Fourth Fridays on the Green concert series which features three concerts at the end of June, July and August and partner with new Fairfield brewery Swine City.
“The goal of the series is really to appeal to a younger sect that typically attends the Groovin’ on the Green series,” said City Manager Mark Wendling. “With that in mind, it is proposed that we have a trial run of beer sales as part of the series.”
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While Swine City is the lone beer vendor, Wendling said the city “would control everything.”
That includes colored wrist bands (a different color for each concert) and a custom concert series beer cup. Beer would be $6 a 16-ounce city-branded cup.
No other types of alcohol will be sold at the event, and attendees can only bring non-alcoholic beverages into the park.
“We think that (price) is going to be competitive without being prohibitive,” said Schiller. “We have a unique position of not only being able to offer a craft product to our visitors, to our guests, but it’s a Fairfield business. And we’re going to create that can’t-miss experience. FOMO — fear of missing out — is the number one checked box for that young professional (ages) 25 to 35. We’re going to say you can’t miss this.”
The three bands were selected out of about 30 considered for the new concert series. All have mostly original music and a strong following, according to Schiller.
Bands include Moment 44 on June 22, See You in the Funnies on July 27 and Adelee & Gentry on Aug. 24. Concerts will be from 7 to 9 p.m. and craft beer sales will start when food trucks open at 6:30 p.m.
“Just like Red, White and Kaboom, we believe this can be a city-wide, parks-wide endeavor where all of us are going to support it with all of us being at the event and all of our different area of expertise.”
EventBrite surveyed young professionals and asked what attracts them to an event, Schiller said.
“What they got back is that they wanted a unique venue, interesting entertainment offerings, great food and exceptional craft drinks,” she said. “I think we got it.”
Schiller said the new concert series can bring in 500 to 1,000 guests, similar to what Groovin’ on the Green draws at its weekly summer concerts.
Fairfield Police Chief Steve Maynard doesn’t believe the beer sales will be a problem.
“What we have in our favor is we’re controlling it, we can limit it, and if it turns out to be a problem we can shut if off,” he said. “I don’t really believe there’s a risk in trying it.”
The city is not considering alcohol sales at other concert series in the park.
“Let’s not fix something that’s not broken,” Mayor Steve Miller said.
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IF YOU GO
4th Friday on the Green: Moment 44
Friday, June 22, Village Green Park, 7 to 9 p.m.
Food Trucks: Empanadas Aquí, Fabulous Funnel Cakes and More, Joe’s Mojo, streetpops
4th Friday on the Green: See You in the Funnies
Friday, July 27, Village Green Park, 7 to 9 p.m.
Food Trucks: Piggin N Grinnin BBQ, The Dawghouse, The Dapper Doughnut, Joe’s Mojo
4th Friday on the Green: Adelee & Gentry
Friday, August 24, Village Green Park, 7 to 9 p.m.