The two-day Texas Reds Steak and Grape Festival this year will be dedicated to the Bryan Fire Department and proceeds will go to the Bryan Firefighters Association, but the event has never made a profit.
The annual Texas Reds Festival is the City of Bryan's signature event, but this year might make the memory books.
"It has always been about wine and steak, and it would be really appropriate with the red element of it if we include the firefighters this year,” said Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski.
Specifically the firefighters and their families affected from the Knights of Columbus Hall blaze in Bryan in February.
Two firefighters died and two others, Rickey Mantey and Mitch Moran, are still recovering but back home in Bryan.
In order to help them, the city is giving a charitable donation from the festival to the Bryan Firefighters Association. But in the past 6 years of the event, the festival hasn't made any money. So how will the association get proceeds from the event? Bienski says a donation will be made.
"Whether it is $5,000 or $10,000 on up depending on what kind of money we can bring in with sponsorships but we definitely want to set aside some of the proceeds,” said Bienski.
The city is also trying to cut costs in many areas to try a make a profit.
"Some of the merchants didn't like us fencing off the downtown area so we are going to look at not fencing off where the main merchants are at in Bryan on Main Street,” said Bienski. "It costs money to fence in that area. There's lost revenue potentially if other customers can't get to those retailers.”
Details are still in the works, but Bienski says this year's festival will be a memorable one.
"We will be talking with Ricky Mantey and Mitch Moran and maybe have them on stage and help introduce our acts that night and have a role in our Texas Reds Festival this year,” said Bienski.
The festival is funded through hotel/motel occupancy tax and sponsorship.
Bienski says the city will announce this year's music lineup very soon.
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