Town Council gives green light to new spring festival

FORT MILL -- The Fort Mill Town Council agreed Monday to move ahead with a new spring festival, SpringFest, to be held May 3 at Walter Elisha Park.

SpringFest might replace Fest-i-Fun, held for 25 years in Fort Mill's downtown. Fest-i-Fun, the brainchild of former Mayor Charles Powers, was not an official town event, although the city supported it through in-kind donations such as police patrols.

The new festival would be sponsored by the town.

SpringFest will run only on one day. No carnival rides are planned but there is a possibility for a hot-air balloon if the weather permits.

Town Manager David Hudspeth also recommended putting up temporary fencing around the event and limiting retail sales during the festival to groups such as local school booster clubs and other nonprofits.

Fort Mill will seek corporate sponsorships to defray the cost of hiring entertainment for the daylong festival.

The council voted 5-1 to move ahead with SpringFest. Councilman Waddell Gibson, who complained earlier in the meeting that he knew nothing about the proposed festival until reading about it in the Fort Mill Times, was opposed.

"I don't know how council can give feedback because the council has had no input," Gibson said. "I had no input."

Councilman Grady Ervin was not at the meeting.

A festival planning group led by Parks and Recreation Director Brown Simpson will meet again at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Spratt Building at 215 Main St.

The council will have to approve the specifics for the festival.