The Moon River Festival is this weekend at Coolidge Park. Aaron Wilkinson, the concessionaire hired by the promoter of the festival, came to the Chattanooga Beer Board meeting Thursday morning to get a permit that will allow beer sales in the park during the concerts on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 11 p.m.
The laws have recently changed, said Assistant City Attorney Keith Reisman, so that a for-profit organization is allowed to sell beer in a public park as long as they have also obtained a festival license.
Both licenses are costly which will limit the applications, he said.
There will be 100 security officials from Access Security throughout the area of the festival that will be completely fenced in. There will be limited access points each manned with security. The crowd will be constantly monitored, and undercover purchases will take place during the event to test that the beer sales conform to the law. An app will be used that scans an ID for every beer sale. The app can access all information nation-wide that is connected to the ID.
The Moon River festival is “tremendous for Chattanooga,” said board member Christopher Keene. There were 10,000 tickets sold in eight hours the first day they went on sale, and about 60 percent were bought by out-of-towners, he said. Mr. Wilkinson described the music as various types of “hipster rock.” There will be some local and some Tennessee bands. The special event beer license was unanimously approved.
Another special event license was issued for the 40th Anniversary Party put on by Hair Benders International, 1615 Gunbarrel Road. This will take place on Sept. 8 from 5:30 – 10 p.m. in front of the building under a tent. Harriet Stafford said 250-300 people are expected, mostly clients. The event will serve as a fundraiser for Chattanooga Room in the Inn.