FOLEY – For the past seven years the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce has put on the Festival of Flavor in the streets of downtown Foley during the fall season. The event, taking place on Friday and Saturday, features local cuisine and school clubs and organizations dishing out treats for visitors. Preceding the event on Thursday is what is known as the Chicago Street Supper Club, an upscale night of fine dining taking place on Chicago Street itself.
Donna Watts, President/CEO of South Baldwin Chamber, has announced that in 2019 the Festival of Flavor will be discontinued, with more effort being put into the Chicago Street Supper Club.
“The Festival of Flavor is not doing what we want it to do, what we need it to do, or what it should do,” said Watts. “We’ve tried every trick that we have in our book that we know how to do, and it’s just not working.”
Watts suspects the timeframe may effect the festival’s attendance, with Saturday hosting a score of college football games competing with the event. She feels this takes away a number of potential attendees.
After much discussion among the Chamber employees, the decision was made to cancel the Festival of Flavor going forward and to put the effort and energy, along with the City of Foley’s funding, into the Supper Club. Typically, Foley puts funds only towards the Festival of Flavor, and has now agreed to instead put that money towards the Supper Club to enable the Chamber to expand on the event as well as advertising.
“We believe there is a lot of potential in the Chicago Street Supper Club, we’ve gotten a lot of support for it from the business community and the community at large,” said Watts. “It was a good crowd at our last one with people asking questions and wanting to buy tickets beforehand, so I think we can generate a lot more interest with that while keeping our original idea of bringing something nice and well-respected to downtown Foley.”
With the cancellation of Festival of Flavor, Watts stated there may be a few changes coming to the Supper Club.
“We discussed potentially moving it to a Friday night, which might be better than Thursday as people won’t be getting up to go to work the morning afterwards,” Watts said. “It’s kind of a late night event, so I think Friday night might bode better for that.”
The event also might move closer to November as not to compete with high school football games.
“We still want it to be something that’s very special and unique and that people really want to attend, and I think changing the date and keeping it on Chicago Street could work,” said Watts. “Everyone loved the fact that it was in the street last year, and I think we’ll continue to push forward and use that as long as the city will allow it to happen.”
To keep up with South Baldwin Chamber events, news, and happenings, follow them on Facebook, or check out their website at www.southbaldwinchamber.com.