Esto’s new city seal designed by Town Clerk Ben Tew features Two-Toed Tom, an alligator important in local folklore. Two-Toed Tom is also the namesake for an Esto festival returning September 14, 2024, at John Clark Park. [CONTRIBUTED]

Esto Town Clerk Ben Tew, who is also involved with organizing the area’s Two-Toed Tom Festival coming up at John Clark Park in September, gave an update on how logistics for the event are coming together during a monthly Town Council meeting on May 21.

“We are powering forward on that,” Tew said. “We are less than four months away and I’m starting to get anxious and tense about it. I’ve been out several days. In the afternoons, after Town Hall closes, if I have to go to Bonifay to make a bank deposit or to the post office, I often make sure I hit a lot of businesses and drop off our sponsor brochures.”

The Two-Toed Tom Festival will be held on Sept. 14 after being on hiatus for some time. 

There have been a lot of people interested and interested in sponsoring but haven’t given sponsor money yet, he said.

“So far, for business sponsorships, we have one $500 sponsor, two $250 sponsors, and three $100 sponsors,” Tew said. “Just in the last two days, I’ve had two other businesses verbally commit to being $250 sponsors. We are starting to get money in.”

One food vendor had signed up by the time of the May 21 meeting, as well as several craft vendors and an informational vendor.

Tew said he will be contacting other potential vendors.

“We are looking for title and corporate sponsors and I’ve been working with the TDC on that,” Tew said. 

So far, not much money has been spent on getting the Two-Toed Tom Festival together, he said.

“We’ve pretty much spent $1,000 to reserve the lumberjack show and $300 to get our sponsorship brochures,” Tew said. “Revenue-wise, we’ve brought in $4,950. That’s come from vendor fees, business sponsorship, and $3,150 from the Town of Esto’s contribution so far. That’s a good start to our festival.”

Councilmember Garet Skipper said a hard deadline should be set soon for sponsors since he didn’t want to get down to August and the event be underfunded. 

“We don’t need to make a bad impression, first year out the gate,” Skipper said. 

A big portion of expenditures is advertising, Tew said.

“If we need to cut back, we can cut back on the radio advertising, digital billboards, even posters,” Tew said. “We can save about $4000 or $5000 there, if you really want.”

Skipper said he did not want to cut back on advertising.

“I think, if we keep working on it, we will find those sponsorships,” Tew said. “We will find the vendors.”

Interim Town Manager Josh Davenport said he would also help finding sponsors and assistance with event funding. 

In other Esto news, Tew said he would like to see the Town Council present a list of projects they would like to work on since the next budget year is approaching. 

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