WINNSBORO–(4/11/19) Wicked weather ruining a highly anticipated annual event.
For more than three decades, Franklin Parish’s beloved Catfish Festival has brought thousands to the area, but this weekend, the streets will be empty.
“We’ve been watching the weather all week and been trying to decide about the best course of action. We just could not, in good conscious, subject our visitors, our guests our vendors to those conditions.” said Leslie Young, a member of the Catfish Festival Board of Directors.
Severe winds and rain are expected to plague the ArkLaMiss Saturday, so a difficult decision was made to break tradition.
“The first time in over 30 years, we were devastated, we were heart broken about it,” said Young.
So many people are disappointed about the cancelation of the annual Catfish Festival, especially the merchants who were planning on a big day.
“It’s disappointing, my fellow merchants on the street, we all bought extra merchandise to have to sell and took a gamble that we would have the new stuff to sell and we’re not going to be able to,” said Wade Walley, a merchant at Every Occasion.
The largest one-day festival in the state usually costs around $100,000 to orchestrate. Organizers say because of the event’s size and the work necessary to plan… it can’t be rescheduled.
“It’s just really not possible, some of our vendors are on a festival schedule, you know, they have other weekends that their committed to and there’s just no way we could turn the ship around at this point.” said Young.
“They canceled it because of the weather, which is understandable, but I know there were a lot of people who were looking forward to coming here, I just wish they rescheduled for a different time when the weather was better, said local Katie Kelley.
Young says the festival typically brings 15,000 people into Winnsboro.
All vendors will be refunded.