No plans in works for 2014 Powers’ Festival

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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Butcher

There are no plans to hold the Powers’ Festival Labor Day weekend this year.

The Coweta Festivals Inc. group is, however, planning to consider future festivals hosted by another individual or organization. The decades-old Powers’ Festival – formerly known as the Powers’ Crossroads County Fair and Arts Festival – has been held every Labor Day weekend since 1971.

The majority of the festivals throughout this time were hosted by Coweta Festivals, a group of five (formerly six) nonprofit organizations that own the property on Hwy. 34 West at the Coweta/Heard county line where the event traditionally has been held.

In late 2011, Coweta Festivals made the decision to refrain from presenting the three-day arts and crafts fair. The decision was made, in part, by an earlier passing of a special events ordinance that required Coweta Festivals to obtain a special-use permit, which was expensive.

Coweta Festivals is comprised of the Newnan-Coweta Art Association, Coweta County 4-H, the Pilot Club, the Jaycees, and the Newnan-Coweta Chamber of Commerce. In the spring of 2012, a special-use permit was obtained for the property, and Coweta Festivals announced it had entered into a lease agreement with Mark Turnham of Xcessive Sound. Turnham and his partners hosted the festival in 2012 and 2013, as well as several other events, including Zombie Village, a concert series, a motorcycle rally and a barbecue cookoff and beer festival.

Turnham and partners rebranded the festival grounds ‘Powers’ Pavilion.’

However, Turnham’s lease agreement expired at the end of 2013. A decision not to renew was made.

“The decision was mutual, and on good terms,” said Stephanie Butcher, Coweta Extension service director and Coweta Festivals president.

Turnham could not be reached for comment. “Coweta Festivals is currently putting together a new lease agreement,” Butcher said.

Individuals and organizations will be able to lease the property for individual events, or long-term.

“At this time, we don’t have plans for the board to hold a Powers’ Festival on Labor Day weekend for 2014, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t open to anyone interested in leasing the property to put on the festival,” Butcher said. “It’s a great property for weddings or family reunions or corporate outings. We wanted to be able to provide the property to anyone.”

The property straddles the Coweta/Heard county line. The parking lot area, which is located in Coweta County, is approved for alcohol sales.

“There are so many types of events that can be held there,” Butcher said. “We have a lot of interest in leasing the property.”

“We are working diligently to get the lease agreement ready,” Butcher said.

The lease agreement is expected to be completed within the next month or so, according to Butcher, who is also the county’s agriculture agent and extension coordinator.

Butcher doesn't anticipate Coweta Festivals hosting the festival again.

“Putting on the festival is very labor intensive, and Coweta Festivals is a volunteer organization. Over the last several years, we have seen a significant decrease in the number of volunteers able to participate,” Butcher

said. “We’ve attributed a lot of that to the economy.”

“We’ve had to look for new ways to offer events for the community,” she said. “But, there are certainly no plans to sell the property.”

Parties interested in the property may call Butcher at the Coweta Extension office on Pine Road at 770-254-2620.



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