(Southaven, MS) Southaven’s annual Springfest kicked off Wednesday afternoon at Snowden Grove Park in Desoto County.
This is the 33rd year for the popular event.
While sponsors want everyone to have a good time, there’s something equally important to Southaven Police and Fire, and that is safety.
Wednesday morning, Jeannie Ward was busy making candy apples in her booth, ‘The popcorn Wagon.’
She was getting ready for the opening of Southaven’s Springfest though temperatures were far from spring like, “It’s really exciting. I know the weather’s kind of bad, but it’s supposed to get prettier.”
Ward, like other vendors and amusement ride operators, is counting on a successful and safe run in Snowden Grove Park.
She admits she’s a little worried ever since the Boston Marathon explosions.
But she’s been told safety is a primary concern at Springfest, “I believe we have the right amount of security to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.”
Southaven Police and Fire have already developed an Emergency Action Plan for Springfest.
Malena Alderman, PIO for Southaven Fire, says local agencies and Springfest organizers worked on the E-A-P, “Basically it’s a guideline with pre-determined actions that we have put in place, to take before or during the event, should we encounter an emergency situation or other hazardous incident.”
While an emergency plan is standard for any large public gathering, the Boston bombings have put an emphasis on safety in Southaven and across the country.
The Southaven Police Department will have 50 to 70 officers handling traffic and walking the event grounds.
The East Precinct, across the street from the park, will be used as a command center.
Melana Alderman says Southaven’s Fire Department will have more first responders close at hand, “We will have additional paramedics, we will have a first aid tent that will be staffed with paramedics. As well as an additional ambulance on site here.”
Springfest runs through Saturday night at Snowden Grove Park.
There’s a barbecue cooking contest and several concerts planned.
In fact, the Dave Matthews Band concert for Saturday night is already sold-out.