By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
HARKER HEIGHTS - The Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce will soon start its advertising campaign for its second Central Texas Food and Wine Festival.
"Billboards are going up on about the 20th of August," said Bill Kozlik, chamber president.
About 15 billboards will be placed on Texas roadways from Round Rock to cities in Coryell County, Kozlik said.
The billboards, along with other advertising, helped generate attendance of about 850 people last year, Kozlik said.
The signs will be placed less than a month before the event takes place Sept. 11 in Harker Heights Community Park.
Last year's event was "successful" and the chamber is hoping for about 1,500 attendees this year, said Ted Smith, former chamber chairman who helped orchestrate the event last year.
What makes the festival successful is that it showcases not only food and wine but it showcases the area, Kozlik said.
"It gives people a taste of what is available in the community," he said.
The chamber is using the same site as last year, but it is expanding the footprint of the allotted space and types of vendors, Smith said.
This year the chamber is adding arts and crafts to the list of vendors, Smith said.
Those vendors will display their goods among tables showcasing area restaurants, caterers and Texas wineries, along with a day of live music.
There are already about seven food vendors, seven arts and craft vendors, and eight wineries scheduled to attend, Kozlik said. More vendors will continue to sign up until a week before the event, he added.
While it may seem like a small turn out of vendors, the festival is growing, Kozlik said.
"That is where we are, it is all in the building state," he said. "Everyone that was here last year, are here again. ... There are some new things. That is what we want to do, keep building every year."
After about four years, the number of attending wineries will seem to double, Kozlik said.
Attendees are charged $30 for advanced tickets and $35 on the day of the event. Vendor booths range from $50 to $150, depending on the type of vendor and whether the business is a chamber member.
If a profit is yielded from the event, the chamber will use half of the funds to support other chamber activities, Kozlik said. The other half will be given back through park improvements.
The chamber plans to use money from last year and this year's Food and Wine Festival to build a permanent stage at the Harker Heights Community Park, Kozlik said.
For more information about the Central Texas Food and Wine Festival, including how to reserve vendor space, go to www.hhfoodandwine.com.