Downtown Springfield will welcome the annual Springfield Fall Festival this weekend, beginning Friday afternoon.
The event, under the auspices of the Springfield Merchants Association, will get under way with a street dance Friday.
“It’s big,” said Jamey Stancell of the Springfield Merchants Association. “It’s growing every year.”
Along with entertainment, there will be arts, crafts and food vendors, bounce houses for kids, a classic car show sponsored by Car Quest and the Zaxby’s wing eating contest.
“We’ll have about 40-45 vendors,” Stancell said.
The car show will be Saturday, with registration at 8 a.m. and awards at noon. The wing eating contest will be held Saturday, with the kids digging in at 5:30 p.m. and the adults chowing down at 5:45.
“It’s going to be big this year,” Stancell said of the car show.
Saturday’s entertainment on Laurel Street will start at 4:30 p.m. with Brian Fuller, followed at 6:30 by David Adam Byrnes and Outshyne will take the stage at 7:30.
The stage will be at one of Laurel Street, right in front of city hall by the Second Street traffic light, and the vendors will be stationed along Laurel down to about the Cleveland Street intersection.
“When you shut the street down, people get excited,” Stancell said. “That’s something no other town has. No other town in Effingham County has that ability. Springfield has been a big part of it.”
The merchants association also is looking for volunteers. Hours for the Fall Festival are 5-10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday.
Stancell said as the event has grown, it has gotten more support and drawn bigger crowds.
“When things are successful, people want to be a part of it,” he said, “and the more successful it gets, the more people want to be a part of it, and the more people get involved in it, the more successful it gets, so it’s kind of a snowball. The support we get from the city, the county, the elected officials, that has grown every year. The community involvement has gotten more and more.”