Wow. It’s been 25 years since it began to rain every first full weekend of May.
Just kidding, but that’s how long Springfest – and the standard Springfest joke about the weather – has been around and it did seem not long after the advent of this celebration a quarter of a century ago that it would forever be cursed with inclement meteorological circumstances.
Fortunately for the four-day event and the tens of thousands of people who visit each year, that turned out not to be the case, as it has grown to become the major economic driver of early spring, just as its older companion celebration, Sunfest, has extended the fall market.
First suggested by then City Councilman Jim Hall, Springfest more or less copied the successful Sunfest formula. The primary difference between the two, however, is that Springfest – and the business it generates – helps set the tone for the season to come, as opposed to lengthening a season that’s mostly finished.
If local businesses – restaurants, real estate, retail and lodging – do well going before Memorial Day, that’s a real pre-season confidence booster for their operators as well as anyone associated with them.
In addition, business plans are made or adjusted in these final weeks before the traditional summer starts, so the Springfest performance issue really matters.
As everyone already knows, this year’s edition of the springtime celebration begins next Thursday and, with luck, the weather and the crowds will be good.
As the resort prepares for its annual make-or-break 15 weeks of heavy commerce, everyone is hoping that this 25th anniversary of Springfest will be notable not just as a testament to its durability, but for its success as well.