The last few days have been a whirlwind of planning and promoting for the Denham Springs Spring Festival, making its return April 24 after the coronavirus canceled the 2020 event.
Al Bye, president of the Antique Dealers Merchants Association, said making the decision to give the go-ahead for the festival was a difficult one. Concerns about the spread of the coronavirus and offering residents a safe, fun festival made the call a hard one to make. But, when the city of Denham Springs approved the permits on Thursday, the organizing was in full swing.
A majority of the vendors lined up for last year's event had already been contacted to see if they were available for the festival's return. While a few couldn't make it, a waiting list is helping fill the remaining spots.
The free festival will feature music, an arts alley, treats for sale, demonstrations and lots of shopping.
That's what's got Bye and the other merchants excited about the festival, planned from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. along Range and Railroad avenues in the downtown area.
Bye said merchants are ready to see folks strolling the streets, shopping and "just visiting, all at a safe distance and masked."
Donna Jennings, Denham Spring Main Street director, said it will "just be nice to see our neighbors and wave."
Residents are ready to enjoy some spring weather and get out with the family and the family dog — the festival is dog friendly — Bye said.
In addition to canceling the Spring Festival, the coronavirus forced the cancelation of the Fall Festival and many other annual downtown events.
The festival is being presented by the Denham Springs Merchants Association and Pelican State Credit Union.
"We all need this," Jennings said. "We believe lots of people are ready to come out and shop and spend some money."
Jennings said folks don't have to wait for April 24 to come to the downtown area for some spring fun. On Saturday, the Le Chen Running Club is hosting a Crescent City Classic 10k run and fun run. The hosts are implementing lots of rules for safety.
In addition, the Denham Springs Famers Market kicks off its spring session from 8 a.m. to noon in the City Hall parking lot on North Range Avenue.
Bye said they will be watching the governor's COVID-19 announcement Tuesday and believe they've done what they can to present a family-friendly and enough restriction to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information on the Spring Festival, visit denhamspringsantiquedistrict.com