TODAY'S NEWS

THIS WEEKEND: Festival of Spring

Page News and Courier

LURAY — A zip line, a monkey and rubber duck races are just a sampling of the sights in store for this Saturday's Festival of Spring. Held the first Saturday of May, this is the 12th year for the festival, which celebrates the arrival of Spring and warm weather.

"Our phones have been ringing off the hook this week with people asking questions," said Pat O'Brien, parks and recreation director. "Hopefully the weather will be good. Last year and past years, we have had good weather."

O'Brien planned the majority of the events with Morgan Housden, the assistant parks and recreation director.

"We do have volunteers who help with setting it up," O'Brien said. "But, we pretty much plan the whole thing and it takes months of planning to put on an event of this magnitude."

This year's event will see more than 140 food and craft vendors set up along Main Street. Around 5,000 people are expected to attend throughout the day. The Festival of Spring runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

"We're full, we're actually turning people down," O'Brien said. "We have a lot of new vendors this year. We have a lot of good food vendors."

A full list of vendors and events can be found at www.festivalofspringluray.com, the event's official website.

"We have an awesome lineup this year," Housden said. "There's a lot of great information on our new website — there's a lot of supporting pictures, details, event lineups and kind of the happenings of the day."

Live music will be provided by the bands The Bees and Traveling Hillbillies. They will be at the Performing Arts Center of Luray.

Activities for children is one area that will see an increased presence.

"Over the years, we've really beefed up the children's activities areas," O'Brien said. "This year, in addition to the rock wall, we have a portable zip line and more. We have a lot of fun activities for kids."

Animals will be represented at the Festival of Spring, with a dog frisbee competition from the Appalachian Air Canines group. There will also be an appearance from Django, a performance monkey.

In addition to the Festival of Spring, there will be other events happening in town to coincide with Saturday's event.

The farmer's market will make its debut at the festival, with plans to run every Saturday after.

The Mimslyn Inn will be holding their "LOVE Lawn Party," from 11-4 p.m. Those posting on social media about the event will be entered to win a free night's stay.

The Luray Downtown Initiative, as part of their "Chicken Chow Down Weekend," will have bingo and live music at Dubliner's Celtic Pub, starting at 7 p.m.

O'Brien notes that he is glad to see the Festival of Spring grow into a large event that brings in locals and tourists.

"The best thing for us to do is bring people here who have not been here and show them a good time," O'Brien said. "We want to show them that Luray is a nice town to visit with the hope that they tell five of their friends."



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