Many await the return of festivals but with a few changes

Many await return of festivals but with changes

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Food, family, and a good time this is what those of us who love our festivals and local markets miss and crave so much. But what would these festivals look like during the pandemic?

“I think that you can have a successful show if people know ahead of time what to expect”, said Betty Fontaine.

As the director of “Market at the Mill” located in New Roads, Betty Fontaine says the easing of restrictions has her vendors trying to reach her nonstop.

“We started this 10 years ago and ten years ago I had to beg vendors to come. And now 10 years later the vendors are calling me every single day, they’re begging to come”, Fontaine said.

The easing of capacity restrictions will definitely help out with smaller events like our local farmer’s markets and fairs who draw in crowd sizes of about a third the size of the larger festivals we have. But what does that mean for those larger events like soul food fest for example?

“Well first of all that means that producing a festival the size of Baton Rouge Soul Food Festival, Baton Rouge Madri Gras Festival, Henry Turner jr. Day, those types of events that I produce 25% action wouldn’t pay for the event itself”, said Henry Turner jr.

And not being able to profit off of the event leaves little to no incentive for producers to put them on.

“I wouldn’t even know how to produce that or what to do about that man...because what do you do? tell people you can’t come to the downtown unless you’re counted somewhere if you come up government street, we’ll count you until we get to 250 and then everybody else can go home or...like how do you do it, you know I just wouldn’t even know how to do it”, Turner jr. explained.

And people here at home are getting tired of waiting.

“We most certainly are, we’d love to get back into the fix of things and the way things were before all this covid stuff. The economy is down because of everything and you know businesses are closing and all of that”, said Baton Rouge local Kevin Sullivan.

“My thoughts are until it’s the right scenario you shouldn’t press the issue. And I trust our government officials and the CDC. I think they have a good pulse on what’s happening. And I think it’s always better to be safe than sorry”, said Turner jr.

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