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Springfield Days Ready To Bloom

Like the daffodils that poke out in March, the Springfield Days Festival is also in the early stages of fruition this month. In it's 14th year, the planning started in January.

Springfield Chamber of Commerce executive director Nancy-jo Manney is one of the "green thumbs" involved.

"A lot of what we do now is plant seeds and water. We don't start harvesting until May. A lot of what we're doing now is attending a meeting once a month, answering a few questions and sending out press releases," she said.

The festival attracts a lot of community involvement.

"The carnival is the single event that draws the most people," Manney said.

Springfield Mall marketing representative Leticia Click is nearly done with all the preparations for the Miss Springfield pageant. Click already has arranged the contestant dinner, DJ, photos and tabulator. She's gotten two applications as well.

"I've ordered the trophies, I've got the sash and the sign as soon as we get the sponsor. There's really not a whole lot left beside running around for donations," she said.

Although they have space for 30 contestants, they usually get about 20 and Click expects this year to be the same.

"I don't expect it to be any bigger this year," she said.

Manney talked about the evolution of the festival since it's start in 1988, with the introduction of sponsors a big part of making it work.

"Somebody has to pay for it, we're able to give out awards at the art show and puppy parade solely on the support of our sponsors," she said.

While Linda Waller, administrative assistant in Supervisor Dana Kauffman's (D-Lee) office is in charge of the puppy walk this year, she's also been involved in other facets through the years.

"It's expanded a lot. It started as a retail festival and grown to be much larger and more community-oriented," she said.

Waller is on the Springfield Days committee which has had a several meetings so far.

"Early on, we decide what were going to do and how much money we need. We really kick into gear in January," she said.