Auxvasse Fire Department to host music festival fundraiser

— The Auxvasse Fire Department is hoping to make the town an entertainment hot spot yet again.

The department plans to host Music on Main Oct. 4, a music festival fundraiser that will serve the dual purpose of raising money to supplement the department’s budget and bringing attention to Auxvasse.

The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved Music on Main proposal by Auxvasse Fire Chief Nick Kaufman during Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

“Basically, in thinking about the fire department needing more money, we started brainstorming ideas, and one think I thought of was that Auxvasse used to be known for its entertainment — people used to come from all over,” Kaufman said.

His proposal for the council was to hold the concert from 5 p.m. to midnight on Oct. 4 in the 100 and 200 blocks of South Main Street, with an expected patronage of 1,000-2,000 attendees.

“This does three things: It improves our image, it raises money for the fire department, and it brings a little bit of possibility for our downtown,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman said the keys to hosting a successful event would be bringing in good entertainment and high-quality sound equipment.

Kaufman and other event organizers, including former Whiskey Wild Saloon owner Chad Martin and Jeremy Brixey, the bar operations manager at Mexico Moose Lodge, plan to feature three musical talents at the concert: Grady Fraser, a young, local acoustic performer; a regional talent; and a mid-level national talent.

Once contracts have been signed with entertainers, Music on Main organizers will begin soliciting sponsorships from local businesses, which Kaufman said “hopefully will pay for the event before the first person steps through the gate.”

Kaufman said they currently are working on agreements with regional and national artists, but did not want to share names before contracts are signed.

He said event organizers also have made arrangements for production equipment with B&M Stage Production, which handles the 9th Street Summerfest concert series in Columbia.

The Auxvasse Bar will sell mixed drinks, with beer concessions being handled by the volunteer firefighters. Non-alcoholic beverage concessions will be handled by the ambulance union, and the food vendor will be the Fulton Professional Firefighters.

Arrangements also have been made for things such as security, sanitation and event promotion.

Kaufman asked the city for support in making needed improvements to city streets and facilities so Auxvasse can “put our best foot forward” for visitors. He also asked for logistical support such as closing streets, law enforcement presence and having City Supervisor Mike Bertschinger on hand.

“I really see this as an event that can grow … that can really be something we become known for,” Kaufman said.

The Board of Aldermen had a few questions, but were supportive of the idea.

“I think it’s an awesome thing that will bring a lot of traffic into this town,” Mayor Kevin Phares said.

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