Abbreviated Franklin Spring Fest still a success

Published 4:28 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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The city of Franklin’s second annual Spring Fest was cut short Saturday, April 22, by inclement weather, but the event still drew a large crowd to the downtown area and was regarded as an encouraging success by organizers.

“We did have good attendance, and it was a well-organized event,” Franklin City Manager Amanda C. Jarratt said during the Franklin City Council meeting on Monday, April 24. “It takes an entire team and months of planning to pull that off, so I do appreciate all their efforts and am glad that everyone was safe in leaving.”

Franklin Director of Tourism Carson S. Blythe estimated that around 800 to 1,000 patrons attended the festival from the city and surrounding areas.

“The city of Franklin was thrilled to bring back the second annual Spring Fest event this past Saturday,” Blythe said. “Regardless of the less-than-desirable weather, we were so excited to see the community still show up and fill the downtown streets for a great day. 

“Festival days allow us to highlight our wonderful sponsors, specialty vendors and our local businesses,” she continued. “Events like these not only bring increased traffic and sales for one day, but offer exposure to the businesses and encourage repeat customers in the future. Overall, we think Spring Fest 2023 was a success and are looking forward to hosting an even bigger and better event in 2024.”

She noted that standout features of the festival included the kids’ zone, storybook walk, DJ and animal adoption with Franklin Animal Shelter.

She said the city is excited to welcome the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Artmobile back to the 2024 Spring Fest event.

It was originally intended for the 2023 festival to run until 3 p.m. on Saturday, but due to the forecasted inclement weather, organizers opted to end the event at 1:30 p.m. to allow vendors time to break down their tents and equipment before the weather arrived.

“It was very unfortunate that we had to end it early, but I do appreciate the staff’s diligence in monitoring the weather and in ensuring that everyone could pack up safely,” Jarratt told the City Council on Monday. “Tents flying would have been very dangerous to the community at large, and having individuals packing up in that weather, with the winds to the degree that they were, would have been a dangerous condition.”