SpringFest best ever City says
Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2021
SpringFest 2021 was probably the largest ever event held in Batesville officials estimated this week. Carnival operators reported their largest ever sale of tickets for rides, games, and food, and a record-crowd of music enthusiasts were in attendance Saturday night when headliner Frank Foster took the stage.
Batesville’s Main Street Program will use the profits to fund the office and a wide range of projects for the community throughout the coming year.
Neither Batesville Police Department nor Panola County Sheriff’s Office made festival-related arrests during the two day event. City officials were expecting a large crowd because SpingFest was one of the first fully-opened events to be allowed in the State of Mississippi since Gov. Tate Reeves rescinded his masks and gathering restrictions put in place last year to combat the spread of the virus that caused a worldwide pandemic.
Some complained of long lines at food vendors, and many were impatient with the wait for rides, but carnival workers were operating the rides at full capacity and without breaks for the duration of the festival.
More food vendors and trucks were invited to SpringFest, but many in that industry who were contacted for the event were hesitant to bring their wares citing previous festivals in other areas this year where Covid restrictions kept customers from attending or severely limited how many customers could be served.
SpringFest organizers said the growing pains experienced this year will be rectified and additional rides and several more food vendors will be on tap for next year’s event. Aerial photography shows that vehicle parking for Saturday night’s happenings extended down Broad St. almost to the Jiffy Store and down Court St. further than anytime in the past.
Mayor Jerry Autrey praised the Main Street office, and the Panola Partnership, for their efforts to put on the large festival, saying he was amazed at the crowds both Friday and Saturday.
“The ones that did the work to make SpringFest happen did a great job with the organizing from getting the music here to making sure enough security was in place,” Autrey said. “The bigger that SpringFest gets the City will need to give them more support. You can’t put on something like we just had without a lot of hands working together. I talked to a lot of people over the two days and everyone was happy with how Batesville made this happen.”