The transformation of First Wednesday Art Walk was made clearer Wednesday when Downtown Vision Inc. Executive Director Terry Lorince gave the organization's board of directors a preview of the Oct. 2 "Oktoberfest."
Lorince said the Downtown advocacy organization has designated an additional budget for the October Art Walk. DVI is importing a German band from Epcot Center in Orlando and renting picnic tables and lighting to create an authentic European biergarten atmosphere in Hemming Plaza.
Lorince said DVI will sell tickets that may be redeemed for beer. She asked board members to volunteer to sell tickets, check identifications or to serve draft beer.
"We're going to use our 501c3 status to sell beer and raise funds for DVI," Lorince said.
She said chefs from Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub and Restaurant, Ruth's Chris Steak House, bb's and Juliette's Bistro at the Omni are creating a menu of German food that also will available at the event.
Lorince said negotiations with a beer supplier have not been finalized, but "hopefully we can raise $10,000-$15,000" from sales at the event.
"This is going to be a very authentic Oktoberfest. It's our way of shaking up Art Walk," said Lorince.
"Everybody has ownership of Art Walk. It's Downtown's signature event. We want to ramp up our major sponsorships, so we have to demonstrate value to sponsors. We're going to provide more," she said.
Five new members joined Downtown Vision's board, subject to approval at the Nov. 6 annual meeting.
Vicki Burns is property manager at Regency Centers in the North Florida region. She grew up in the San Jose area and attended Wolfson High School and Florida State University.
Dorothy Merrick moved to Jacksonville from Atlanta in 2006. She is an associate broker with Warren & Co. Commercial Properties and lives at The Plaza at Berkman, where she has been president of the homeowner's association for five years,
Allison Naseri moved to Jacksonville from Atlanta and has lived in The Peninsular condominiums on the Southbank for the past four years. She owns a consulting firm, which produces Jacksonville Fashion Week. She is a member of the Junior League and serves on the board of directors of the Braided Light Dance Project.
Karen Perkner is executive vice president at EverBank and director of the corporate real estate, quality and productivity and strategic initiatives divisions. She lives in Ponte Vedra Beach and serves on the board of directors of the YMCA.
Numa Saisselin is president of the Florida Theatre. He has been a board member of the League of Historic American Theaters and president of the Consortium of Eastern Regional Theaters.
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