BRYANT, AR - A Bryant city staple is no more. After weeks of arguments stemming from a photo of a beer taken at Family Fest, 2011, Family Fest creator and director James Ballew is moving the event to Benton.
No one involved in Family Fest will talk until the official announcement is made, Monday, but Ballew has been very vocal in the past.
"They want to try and blemish this family event that we've never had an issue - never - from a law enforcement standpoint on any level pertaining to our acts," Ballew told Fox16 in January referring to city council members bringing up the contoversy of the beer in a dry county. "That's when I'm going to get involved."
"If you don't want us anymore, we will walk out this door and you will never see us again and we'll go right next door to Benton and do the same thing," said Ballew at the January 26th Bryant city council meeting.
Despite the threat, Bryant city council member Danny Steele is recorded at Thursday night's town hall meeting saying he doesn't buy it.
"I don't think Benton is going to be any more interested in having Mr. Ballew do Family Fest in Benton than we will be," said Steele.
But Benton Mayor David Mattingly's office confirms the deal adding it's a positive addition to the city's summer activities.
Ballew has told Fox16 in the past he refuses to be a part of mud-slinging city politics, referring to three Bryant city council members who brought the picture of the beer at family fest to light, as he says, in order to smear the mayor.
Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs says for Bryant to get another summer festival, a new batch of volunteers will have to step up.