Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - Updated: 9:43 AM
A popular spring event in Cadiz will not proceed as planned this year.
Merchants 68 member and organizer for the annual Spring Fling, a vendor fair featuring handcrafted items and arts, Elizabeth Wallace has canceled this year's event. Wallace spoke at last Tuesday's Cadiz City Council meeting and cited lack of volunteers, resources and personal time as driving factors in canceling this year's event, which was scheduled to be held May 6 in downtown Cadiz.
"We all love Cadiz, and we love our community and we want it to grow," Wallace said. "And as merchants we were trying to think of ways we could not only help improve our community, but our businesses as well. We really want to have a thriving downtown community. So the more we did the more we did Ã¢ Â¦ the more we planned. Ã¢ Â¦ Spring Fling has grown, and really been popular. We've had the food and music festival. We've had Halloween Safe Night, we've had a winter market Ã¢ Â¦ Throughout all this planning, I've realized that, you know, we're downtown merchants. So we're trying to build our businesses, but trying to build a volunteer base was very difficult.
"Things don't just happen," Wallace said. "I mean, this takes hours and hours of work."
It comes as a surprising development for some involved. Cadiz-Trigg County Tourist and Convention Commission Executive Director Bill Stevens confirmed the event had been canceled, having pulled Tourism advertising in various publications and sites to promote the event. Stevens said he was disappointed to see the festival stalled for the year, but remained hopeful downtown organizations could strike a balance in planning and executing on local events.
"I hope it gets organized in such a way that it can be completed and that we can sponsor and promote it," Stevens said. "I don't know if there was just an overload or what happened. I was at one meeting one night and we were making plans for it and discussing it. Then the next I get a text saying that she was canceling it."
Wallace told council that the Merchants 68 organization was making changes as well; the group would merge with the Cadiz community planning group rather than standing on its own. Dwindling business presence downtown and looking to find the best way to utilize resources effectively played a role in the decision, Wallace said. A more structured alliance among organizations would be beneficial as well, she said.
"The goal is really to make efficient and effective use of our community resources, leadership of volunteers and promote activity to make Cadiz and Trigg County grow," Wallace said. "So that's our goal. Part of the issue Ã¢ Â¦ we've got a lot of multiple organizations that are independently planning things. Ã¢ Â¦ We've got all these different entities Ã¢ Â¦ and we really don't have a lot of coordination among them, and it's making it a little bit difficult."
Wallace said the group would work to provide support to initiatives of that growth, but the bulk of responsibility could not fall on merchants shoulders.
Wallace said she and other Merchants 68 members hoped to continue as planned with this year's unity festival and the summer food and music festival. More devoted volunteers were needed to bring other events back or keep the ball rolling, however.
"These things, we can't run them without volunteers or funding," Wallace said.
Stevens, too, said he hoped to see the festival resume.
"We are totally in support of the activities and the events we have always co-sponsored and helped promote and advertise," Stevens said. "Ã¢ Â¦ It was a really good event; it brought people in."
Last year's Spring Fling -- the fifth annual event -- hosted more than 70 vendors in downtown Cadiz. In addition to the craft fair, Merchants 68 introduced "A Night with Patriotic Stars" featuring speaker Bobby Henline prior to the event. Proceeds from past events went to benefit such organizations as the Disabled Veterans program, Project Linus and Tempered Steel.