Shockoe businesses create event to replace Shamrock the Block

Posted at 11:33 PM, Feb 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-22 08:02:58-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)- Business owners in the Shockoe Bottom area are banding together to create something new, hoping to attract customers after Shamrock the Block organizers opted to move to The Boulevard.

“This is the first time all of us restaurants in Shockoe Slip, the canal, Shockoe Bottom, we’re all working together,” Jake Crocker, the owner of F.W. Sullivan’s said.

Shockoe Fest 2014 spokesperson Heather Dixon said the new event, planned for March 15, will be much smaller than its predecessor and more family friendly.

“We in no way are trying to be Shamrock the Block,” Dixon said.

Earlier in the week Shamrock the Block promoters Three One One announced the annual event -- now in its 11th year -- would be moving from Shockoe Bottom to the Boulevard.

The event generated plenty of controversy last year when a video surfaced of a confrontation between a party goer and police.

Dixon said the new event will be much more tame.

“Last year I know they had liquor in the event, and that is something we’re staying away from this year,” Dixon said.

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control investigated the event and met with the city and event promoters to address safety concerns.

CBS 6 submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the report, but ABC denied our request.

A spokeswoman did tell us ABC arrested 20 people for violations like underage purchase and drinking in public.

Brooks Stone with the Scott’s Addition Business Association said Shamrock the Block on the Boulevard will be much different from year’s past.

“This will be a street festival, we don't have 18 bars within walking distance,” Stone said.

As for Shockoe Fest, Dixon said customers can expect something unique.

“It`s my goal not to compete, it`s a completely different entity,” Dixon said.

Neither event has submitted an application for to ABC for a special event permit, which must be granted for the events to take place.