For residents starved for the outdoor festivals that have been an ancillary victim of coronavirus restrictions, the Tallapoosa Dogwood Festival is on this year — and scheduled for Saturday.
The festival will be downtown on Head Street from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It has been an annual festival for more than three decades but had to be canceled last year as COVID raged across the country.
The city gave the green light for the festival this year, though, said Mindy Moats, who has been helping to organize the event.
Philip Eidson, Tallapoosa city manager, said the city is cautiously allowing local outdoor festivals this spring and summer.
Besides the Dogwood Festival, the city is planning to host Fourth of July festivities including fireworks and the Fourth of July event organized by the Haralson County Veterans Association on Independence Day, he said.
“People are ready to do something. They’ve been cooped up for over a year,” Eidson said. “Hopefully we won’t have any big outbreaks of COVID. That’s our prayer.”
There will still be some concessions to the pandemic, including spacing out the vendors to make social distancing easier, the requiring of masks for vendors, and the cancelation of the parade, Moats added.
But the restrictions haven’t deterred vendors, who are eager to participate.
“We’ve had to turn some away,” Moats said.
This year, there will be fewer vendors at just 69, but those attending will be offering an array of food, arts, and crafts. There will be children’s activities including a train ride, face painting, and inflatables, she said. In addition, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. there will be entertainment including live music and the Peach State Cloggers.
Before the entertainment begins, the Dogwood Dash will hit the streets. The race begins at the Tallapoosa Civic and Cultural Arts Center at 8:30 a.m. The annual 5K run will benefit the Lions Club.
It’s important to restart activities such as this one, Moats said.
“I think people are just kind of ready to be outside and to kind of get back to some kind of normalcy,” she said.