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Foothills Stage to Remain in Original Spot



Press release from the City of Jasper

JASPER — The City of Jasper and members of both Maddox, Thornley & Sanders, and King, Wiley & Williams LLC, entered into an agreement on Wednesday that will allow the Foothills Festival to set up the concert stage in the parking lot at the corner of 3rd Ave and 19th St. for this year’s September event.

Issues with the placement of the stage arose following the receipt of a letter from King, Wiley & Williams thereby placing the city on notice that they would not be allowed to use the parking lot property for events, which included Foothills Festival scheduled for Sept 10th and 11th, 2021. At the time, Jasper Mayor David O’Mary instructed FHF organizers to secure another location for the event, which became the property owned by Tommy Carmichael where the Downtown Foods building is located. Many of the Foothills stakeholders were not pleased with this turn of events and gathered Monday at a meeting called by the city to discuss the situation. Some of them expressed the idea that it was an impasse of miscommunication that could be dealt with through further talks. The city was adamant that they could not move forward without written documentation allowing the property to be used, free from lease and/or other legal entanglements.

Monday evening city attorney Russ Robertson began working on a document that would eventually serve as a proposal by the city to King, Wiley & Williams, and Maddox, Thornley & Sanders, for specific short-term use of the property in question for Foothills 2021. That document was reviewed and distributed for signature on Tuesday. Members of both law firms, including Maddox, Thornley & Sanders (actual owners of the property, who lease a portion to King Wiley & Williams) agreed to the terms of the short-term-use agreement, signed, and returned it. It was agreed to in principle by Mayor David O’Mary and will be presented to the members of the City Council at a special called meeting for acceptance.

“This is certainly a positive outcome to what was a difficult situation just 48 hours ago,”said Brent McCarver, one of the organizers of Foothills Festival. “We had to make a quick decision after receiving the initial letter, which seemed to require things the city was not able to commit to,” McCarver continued, “and we were certainly thankful for the opportunity that Mr. Carmichael offered at the last minute. There is no question that the more central location is better for traffic flow. It’s good that everything has worked out.”

Mayor David O’Mary expressed his happiness with the end result, stating, “My position is with the council and I look after the interest of the city, and in this case, there were two issues: what to do about a legal document and what’s in the best interest of our Foothills Festival. Not a lot of options came up in the beginning. We reached out to Tommy and he agreed to help. In the end, we were able to send a proposal to the writers of the letter that they agreed to, and it has worked out to come back to the original plan. I am glad we had the second option available and also glad it worked out in the end.”

The 2021 Coca-Cola Foothills Festival will kickoff at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 10th, with opener Aubrie Sellers taking the stage at 6:30 p.m.