Turnout key to future of Cleveland's Spring Fest

  • Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:41 a.m.

CLEVELAND — A popular local festival is on the town’s budget chopping block, but at least one Cleveland official said a big turnout could help spare it.

Frankie Adkins-Fleming, a Cleveland councilwoman, said town leaders are eyeing this year’s turnout as next year’s budget cuts loom.

“We don’t know if this will be our last year or not,” she said. “It depends on the turnout.”

Saturday is the 10th annual Spring Fest, held at the town park, 300 Clement St. It starts at noon and will last until a fireworks finale at 9:15 p.m.

Organizers are bringing in more food and craft vendors than ever before, Adkins-Fleming said, and she hopes the festival’s tradition continues.

“It’s not up to us. It’s the money,” she said. “The town is struggling with budgets. If the money is not coming in, then money can’t come out.”

Adkins-Fleming said the festival is free — but thrill-seeking youth can enjoy unlimited rides for $10.

But vendors’ fees only make a dent in the total cost of the festival.

And for Cleveland, the cuts could ouster a springtime favorite.

“We’re having to figure what do to without,” she said. “It would be a shame.”

Festival goers will have their pick of food, entertainment, nature trail tours or line dancing.

The festival will also have a flag retirement ceremony at 3 p.m.

“Anybody that has an old flag that they don’t know what to do with it — they don’t want to put it in the trash — they’re going to have a special ceremony for that,” she said.

Along with food and entertainment, Adkins-Fleming said, the festival provides nonprofits like local churches and scout groups the chance to raise funds.

“It’s a typically small town festival with a Memorial Day theme,” she said.

Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.

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