Boomsday is celebrating its 25th Anniversary next month and fireworks are not the only thing that will light up the sky.  An exciting announcement was made last Thursday as officials from the City of Knoxville, Reily Foods, Knox Heritage, and Visit Knoxville announced that the iconic JFG sign is returning to the South Knoxville waterfront and one lucky person will get the opportunity to “Flip the Switch” at Boomsday and light up the sign once again.

During the 2010 Boomsday, the JFG sign was turned off and taken down with the plan to restore it to its original shape.  After nearly 24 months of repair and renovation, the sign is ready to return to Knoxville and serve as an historic landmark, which will be located at the Kerbela Temple near the Gay Street Bridge along the Tennessee River.

“The big difference on the new JFG sign is that all the bulbs are LED lights,” said Jeff Gamble of Reily Foods.  “This will save approximately 85 percent on electricity, which will have a positive impact on the environment.”

The historic sign will officially be turned on during the Boomsday festivities, and one lucky person will get a chance to “Flip the Switch” and turn on the historic sign. For the opportunity to “Flip the Switch,” community leaders led by Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis, have come together to launch the Booming the Business Loyalty Card campaign and encourage Knoxvillians to shop and support several South Knoxville businesses along the Urban Wilderness Arts and Trade District, which is composed of businesses within the 37920 zip code and offers discounts and specials to customers.

“This is an exciting initiative for our community,” says Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “Knoxville is working together to bring this historic sign back to the riverfront and promote new business in the South Knoxville area at the same time.  Many different people and organizations have worked to make this a reality, and we are very excited at the outcome of the efforts.”

The Booming the Business Loyalty Card features 20 South Knoxville Businesses and with each visit to a business, a stamp will be placed on the Card.  Once 15 of the 20 businesses are visited, the card can be submitted for a chance to win the opportunity to “Flip the Switch” on the restored JFG sign and win $2,500 in honor of the 25th Anniversary of Boomsday.

To download a Booming the Business Loyalty Card, visit or the Urban Wilderness Arts and Trade District’s website.  The deadline for entries is noon on August 31st, and official contest details can be found on the Loyalty Card.

For more information, contest rules and to download the flyer, visit   or

The announcement Thursday regarding the return of the JFG sign to South Knoxville culminates months of behind the scene negations by Vice Mayor and 1st District Councilman Nick Pavlis, pictured left. Pavlis was able to broker the deal with Reily Foods and the Kerbela Temple with the help of Visit Knoxville. “I would have never gotten the deal done without the help of Kim Bumpas and her team putting together a package enticing enough to tip the scales to make it happen. Like any deal it was up and down, on and off to the final end. I had faith in all the parties that they would do the right thing ultimately for Knoxville and help bring back this icon.”