The city’s Downtown Development Authority brainstormed the idea a few weeks ago. But in a town hall meeting Thursday evening, Feb. 21, the group announced it has dropped the idea.
The festival had been slated to take place Saturday, May 18, the same date as the popular Music on the Square festival begun by local musicians and businessmen Josh Chapman and Mark Hise.
“After a lot of discussion and miscommunication and all with Music on the Square organizers – we spoke with Josh (Chapman) and Mark (Hise) – we are not having a Dogwood Festival,” said Chris Davis, DDA member and LaFayette city council member. “We are going to support the Music on the Square as we did last year and continue with electricity, garbage, public works and providing the things that they need there.”
The DDA and Music on the Square organizers jointly decided that adding another festival or another aspect to the already-established Music on the Square event, as was originally discussed, might detract from the original event and would be unlikely to increase foot traffic, as music festival attendees and arts and crafts festival attendees are often not one and the same.
“We just apologize to Josh and Mark for any miscommunication, and we look forward to a great festival,” said Davis. “We thank you for all the work that you are doing to bring this festival.”
Hise has been working hard the past few weeks to sort out many of the details of this year’s festival, and he was pleased to be able to announce this year’s musical attractions at the DDA meeting on Feb. 21.
“The headliners this year have already been booked,” said Hise. “It’s going to be the band Shenandoah, from the late ‘80s, early ‘90s, and Doug Stone’s going to be here, and Dave Gibson, and then local bands throughout the day.”
“We’re excited for it,” said Davis.
Any arts and crafts vendors who were planning to sell their wares at the now-defunct Dogwood Festival will still have an equal opportunity through Music on the Square, which hosts vendors of all types each year as well.
“We’re going to try to do as many crafters and vendors as we can,” said Hise. “We had 65 last year, but I think about 15 of those were politicians, so we’re a few short this year. So we’re going to be out, beating the bushes to try to get some money here in the next few weeks. Anybody who wants to help or wants to get involved, we’ll take all the volunteers that we can take, and sponsors.”
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or volunteer is encouraged to contact Mark Hise at 706 639-9250.