No live music. No street vendors. No bed races. For the first time since its inception in 1983, there was no Fayetteville Springfest in 2012.
The longstanding festival missed its 30th anniversary due to a scheduling conflict and a lack of leadership after volunteer organizer Neil Crawford closed Jose’s Restaurant last winter, but some business owners on the street say that won’t happen again.
New Jose’s owner Doug Allen said he hopes to lead efforts to bring back the tradition in 2013.
“I just want to see it come back, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help make it happen,” Allen said. “It’s just such a shame an event that’s been around for so long went by the wayside.”
Allen said he plans to enlist the help of other business owners on Dickson Street, along with the perennial volunteers who have helped put on the event in years past. He also said he hopes to find some new people to help revitalize and reinvigorate the festival.
Old traditions, he said, are a big part of the plan.
“I definitely want to bring the bed races back, the music element and the vendors,” he said. “I’m also open to new ideas.”
Zac Wooden, owner of Rogers Rec and 21st Amendment, has also pledged to pitch in. “I hated to see it not happen last year,” he said. “I’ll definitely do my part to help.”
Long-time Springfest volunteer organizer Ben Clark said he was thrilled to see some new leadership emerge. “That’s one of the things we hoped would happen, is that some of the new business owners would take the reigns a little bit,” Clark said. “From my perspective, I’m thrilled to see that happen.”
Allen said he hopes to begin planning meetings soon, and urged anyone who want to be involved to call Jose’s at 479-521-0194.