DENHAM SPRINGS -- Spring Fest, one of two large-scale annual shopping festivals in the Denham Springs Antique Village, has been cancelled amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to organizer Al Bye.
Originally scheduled for Saturday, April 25, Spring Fest will not be rescheduled, Bye said.
“We can’t postpone because the vendors have already booked themselves throughout the summer,” Bye told The News. “We’ll lose a lot of vendors if we try to set a new date.”
In an email, Bye said that while small businesses may be allowed to open their doors to the public on April 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending a ban on all large events until at least May 11. Spring Fest, and its sister festival Fall Fest, usually attracts thousands of people to downtown Denham Springs.
Bye and other organizers were hoping the situation would improve after Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide “stay at home” order through Sunday, April 12. But the number of positive coronavirus cases has spiked in Louisiana this week, reaching 2,305 on Thursday, including 11 in Livingston Parish.
In recent days, Bye said he’s had many discussions with vendors, local business owners and Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry regarding Spring Fest. After much discussion, organizers decided to err on the side of caution.
“It’s just not gonna be possible,” Bye said. “We wanted to do what was right and smart. We didn’t want to hurt businesses, but we wanted to do the right thing. Once I talked with the mayor, we decided to go ahead and call it off.”
With Edwards’ order closing all businesses considered “non-essential,” Bye said the cancellation of Spring Fest could have a devastating impact on business owners in the Antique Village.
“It’s gonna be a big hit on the village, but we can’t take the chance,” he said.