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5/18/2013 12:58:00 AM
For now, Camp Verde's Pecan & Wine Fest 'is dead'
Steve Goetting’s Verde Entertainments organized the Pecan & Wine Festival for four  years.
Steve Goetting’s Verde Entertainments organized the Pecan & Wine Festival for four years.

CAMP VERDE - Steve Goetting of Verde Entertainments recently approached the Town of Camp Verde for help running the annual Pecan & Wine Festival. Feeling that the Town was unwilling to provide assistance, Goetting, and Verde Entertainments, have removed themselves from the festival's operations.

"My wife and I have effectively resigned from Verde Entertainments," said Goetting. "We've been looking for help since November. Some people think we're making lots of money [running the Pecan and Wine Festival]. But we're not. We've sacrificed a lot of time and money for this event. All we were looking for was a little support."

"For now, the Pecan and Wine Festival is dead," said Steve Ayers, Economic Development director for the Town of Camp Verde. "Unless they [Goetting and Verde Entertainments] come back, there is an opening for anyone who wants to operate the wine portion of the Festival."

According to Ayers, though the Festival is a "very popular event," the Town does not want to be in charge of the wine portion of the Festival.

The Pecan & Wine Festival "has some really inherent differences from the other events that we do," Ayers said. "Where we have a beer garden at Fort Verde Days and the Corn Fest, the Pecan & Wine Festival involves bringing in a dozen or more wineries, which is a bit of a logistical challenge. And, just as important, there is a cost. All of our other events are free. You are talking about an event that centers on alcohol and has an entrance fee.

"So when Steve [Goetting] came here with that idea, asking us to take the festival over, I told him that we need to overcome a couple of problems," Ayers said. "One of them is that the Town of Camp Verde does not want to run a liquor-based event. That will have to be done by a third party. And two, we will not participate in an event that has an admission fee.

"The Town does not run any of these festivals," Ayers said. "The Town lends support. The Town is a partner, an equal partner, just like anybody else in these events. The Town does not have the capacity, or the personnel, to run these events."

"If Steve [Goetting] would like to participate, we might be able to work out a program where the Town could put money upfront for the tents and for some of the advertising, and you only charge for people who want to buy a wine glass," Ayers said. "Just like the beer garden, only there's wine tasting."

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• Editorial: Pecan & Wine Fest can't make it alone

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 7, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Goetting

This event did not lack great volunteers nor was it a financial drain. It created enough income to pay for expenses and leave some left over to donate to non-profits. All we wanted is a helping hand from the town, to allow for it to be bigger, better, and a little easier.
BTW, Pecans and wine have a long history here in Camp Verde.
Steve Goetting.

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: Long Tall Sally Long

Who said that when eaten, Pecans and Wine even go together? What do they really have in common anyway...other than they are supposed to be grown in Camp Verde. Why not splilt up the event into separate events? Ask for volunteers on the "Bugle," You might be surprised who would volunteer to help at these events. Have a "fund" raising for the events. We are supposed to be already known for our pecans. Now we are becoming known as a winery area. Shouldn't Camp Verde prove it is famous first for our wine?

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013
Article comment by: Disappointed In Camp Verde

Seriously Town of Camp Verde!! What is your problem?? Why can't we have some events in this town that actually bring in tourists? There are people that sell their goods at these events to make a living. There are some that like the upscale event, instead of the hokey, corn fest. Not all in this town are beer drinkers. So let me get this straight - no events - no commerce - no hospital - no new taxes collected???? Are you trying to shut down the town?

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