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Springfield Days Group Counts The Days

With about a month and a half to go before Springfield's coming out party, the Springfield Days Festival, the activities are sidling into place within the budget.

Springfield Days chairman Darcy Whalen is looking to the community for support, rather than cash.

"We have a new way of doing Springfield Days. No money," she said in jest.

The committee expects contributors from past years will step up, so they are continuing the planning process. Springfield Days will still kick off with the Miss Springfield Pageant on Thursday, June 3, followed by the carnival, exhibits, music and fireworks at Lake Accotink, and the grand finale, the Cardboard Boat Regatta. The Springfield Days Committee consists of Nancy-jo Manney of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Leticia Click, Linda Waller, Sue Ruse, Kirt Chase, Rosa Suau, Patrick Barney and Julie Tahan — each focused on a different area.

On Tuesday, April 6, at the Franconia District Station assessed the progress thus far. Considerations included traffic, parking, pedestrian safety, food, forms and money. Some even worried about cicadas, which will be in evidence after their 17-year hiatus.

"Just keep your mouth closed on the rides," joked Chase, who is in charge of the carnival in Springfield Plaza.

Last year, no cicadas were present, but cool weather and rain made an appearance. Although the Miss Springfield Pageant went on without a hitch, the outdoor activities had to contend with the less-than-perfect weather. Whalen was optimistic.

"It's not going to be hot, just nice weather without rain," she said.

ADDITIONS TO this year's festival include pony rides at Lake Accotink, area restaurants' "best ribs" contest, and a sign dedication for the historical sign at Accotink. The sign commemorates the events that occurred at Accotink during the Civil War. This year, Springfield United Methodist Church celebrates its 50th anniversary, as well. The church is marking the occasion with an open house and picnic on the lawn, on Saturday afternoon of Springfield Days Weekend.

Click is conducting the Miss Springfield Pageant in the J.C. Penney court of Springfield Mall. Click has receive a lot of inquiries about the pageant and threw out the suggestion of changing the name to Miss Springfield Days. She didn't get many supporters. Manney thought the name change would limit the pageant winner's rein to the Springfield Days festival instead of throughout the year.

"Then you would only have it for a couple of days. I'm against that," Manney said.

Advertising for the Miss Springfield Pageant has been limited to signs around the mall, and Click has gotten a few applications from that.